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Britain and empire
It is easy to forget that our telecommunications network was founded over a century ago, when Britain ruled an empire covering more than one quarter of the word's land surface.

The new technology of telecommunications coincided with the absolute high point of imperial power.

The telegraph, telephone and wireless networks became arteries fusing the empire together, with imperial needs defining the shape and control of overseas connections.
Looking Around
Having done much to invent telecommunications, the British rather tended to assume their system was automatically the best. The easy assumptions of technical and commercial leadership were not seriously challenged until the years after the Second World War.

During the 1950s and 1960s, however, it became clear that our telecommunications were not developing as fast and as efficiently as those of other countries. Once international comparisons began to be made, they became a prime force driving change ...
fun and games

Can you beat our games? Explode equipment to see what's inside, hear the changing sounds of telecommunications, see how telecommunications designs have changed over time or send an e-postacard.

what's on

The UK's first permanent gallery dedicated to the history of information and communication technologies opens in the new Information Age gallery at London’s Science Museum.

audio history

Take a trip down memory lane with extracts of the interviews which have been recorded as part of the Connected Earth oral history programme.

featured story

100 years of automatic switching!
In 1912 the GPO installed Britain's first automatic telephone exchange in Epsom.

Discover the early days of the telephone...