Telecommunications in the Eighties

February 4, 1983

Report Outline
Change and Transition
New Communications Era
Supporting Technologies
Prospects for the Future
Special Focus

Change and Transition

United Nations Telecommunications Year

The chinese name their years for animals. In Peking, this is the Year of the Boar. The United Nations uses a different system: it picks out issues of international concern and devotes a full year to their consideration. For example, 1974 was World Population Year, 1975 was International Women's Year, and 1981 was the Year of the Child.

In the U.N.'s scheme of things, 1983 is World Communications Year. The United Nations and its related agencies, ranging from the International Telecommunication Union to the Food and Agriculture Organization, UNESCO and the World Health Organization, will undertake a series of projects this year to promote the establishment and improvement of communications systems around the world. “In recent years,” said a U.N. press release, “decision-makers, planners and implementers at all levels have become increasingly aware that the biggest bottleneck for economic and social progress is inadequate communications.”

The U.N.'s World Communications Year comes at a time of rapid transition in global communications systems. The convergence of emerging telecommunications technologies and computers is transforming business operations and human interactions in such fundamental ways that social scientists speak confidently of the dawn of a new era — the “information age” “We are rapidly developing into an information society in which computer technologies, networking, and other enhanced forms of interpersonal and institutional communications are a major force,” Kenneth W. Hunter told the delegates to the fourth general assembly of the World Future Society last July. “The technological and social changes affect us in our personal and professional lives. Understanding the nature of the changes and the alternatives available to the individual and society is crucial at this watershed in history.”

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Aug. 02, 2019  The 5G Revolution
Oct. 12, 2012  Social Media and Politics
Mar. 16, 2001  Cell Phone Safety
Apr. 23, 1999  The Future of Telecommunications
Dec. 04, 1987  Broadcasting Deregulation
Dec. 16, 1983  Breaking Up AT&T
Feb. 04, 1983  Telecommunications in the Eighties
Sep. 27, 1961  Space Communications
Feb. 16, 1949  Telephone Monopoly
Mar. 23, 1944  Freedom of Communications
Feb. 15, 1930  Communications: Unification and Regulation
Computers and the Internet
Telecommunications and Wireless Technologies