Telecomms in Australia
These notes cover a few milestones.
It was in 1901 that the telephone and telgraph administrations of each Australian state came together to form the Postmaster General's Department (PMG). Reorganisation in 1975 led to its renaming as Telecom Australia or Telecom for short. In the early 1990s it became Telstra (http://www.telstra.com.au ).
The first telephone exchange opened in Melbourne, in August 1880. Also among the first wave were Brisbane (less than two months after Melbourne) and Sydney (1881).
December 1991 saw the last of Australia's manually operated exchanges (at Wanaaring, NSW ).
Australian telephone switching first made use of electronic techniques in the mid 1970s, when computers were added to major trunk exchanges in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. Known as Metaconta 10C , these exchanges used reed-relay crosspoint switches to route calls, and - for manual trunk operators - provided much more sophisticated facilities.
The crossbar hybrid: ARE-11
Some crossbar exchanges have also been updated by the addition of electronic equipment. The registers, and some of the markers, are replaced by electronic components on printed circuit boards. A small central computer, dividing its time between them, controls their operations. ARF crossbar exchanges which have been modified in this way are called ARE-11 exchanges. First installed in Australia in 1977, ARE-11 exchanges work better than the original crossbar exchanges and provide some of the telephone services available on AXE exchanges (see below). Now a major part of the switching network, ARE-11 exchanges are likely to remain so well into the next century.
The fully electronic exchange: AXE
The first fully dedicated computer-controlled exchange in Australia opened at Melbourne's Endeavour Hills in 1981. Designed by Ericsson Communications Pty Ltd, it was the first of many AXE exchanges.
Adapted from http://www.telstra.com.au/classroom/sec_3_1.htm
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