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Communications Under the SeasThe Evolving Cable Network and Its Implications$
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Bernard Finn and Daqing Yang

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780262012867

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262012867.001.0001

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The International Telegraph Union: The Cable Companies and the Governments

The International Telegraph Union: The Cable Companies and the Governments

(p.61) 5 The International Telegraph Union: The Cable Companies and the Governments
Communications Under the Seas

Jorma Ahvenainen

The MIT Press

This chapter explores the process by which the telegraph came into public use all over the world. It examines the role the telegraph played during the First World War, and how the pricing of telegraph services affected communications and created possible security threats for governments. The chapter also explores the factors that helped bring about the emergence of the International Telegraph Union (ITU), which held conferences to review agreements and regulations on tariffs. It then relates these to cable companies, noting the importance of the international treaty discussed at the St. Petersburg conference in 1875. In conclusion, it is shown that three factors helped contribute to the globalization of the telegraph business: Technical development of lines and cables, a common operational framework, and the decline in the cost of service.

Keywords:   telegraph services, International Telegraph Union, ITU, tariffs, St. Petersburg conference, globalization of telegraph

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