TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Data Communication Versus Telecommunications

Re: Data Communication Versus Telecommunications

Al Gillis (
Tue, 30 Nov 2004 18:58:53 -0800

Justin Time <> wrote in message

> (Matt) wrote in message
> news:<>:

>> When people say telecommunications, it implies data communications,
>> correct? I want to know if data communication and telecommunications
>> usually are used interchangably.

>> Please advise. thanks!!

>> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: In the Usenet hierarchy, 'telecom' is
>> one of the sub-groups under the larger category 'dcom'. I would say
>> the two terms are mostly interchangeable, but data communications
>> does include a lot more than just voice. PAT]

> The meaning would have to depend on the context. The more general
> term is telecommunications, having two major divisions, voice and
> data. The reason telecom -- voice is a sub-group of dcom -- data
> communications on the Internet newsgroups is due to the original focus
> of the Internet, computer-to-computer communications. As far as the
> history goes, data communications in the form of telegraphy pre-dates
> telephony or voice communications. My understanding of the word
> telecommunications is that it encompasses every form of communication
> that was carried by wire (before the age of wireless.)

> Rodgers Platt

My views follow the logic expressed by Rodgers Platt ... I construe
"Telecommunications" as electronic communications (or maybe even just
electrical communications) of which there are a bunch of flavors:
voice, data (either the old 1BM kind of data communications or the
newer IP kind, made popular by Cisco, 3Com and that ilk), video (as in
Video conferencing or even television) and possibly even Morse code!

I've noticed that recently the "Data Boys" seem to think Telecom
refers to voice-related communications. I think that's because they
know little of the history of this art/science and they don't know the
etymology of the word telecommunications.

Per the Encyclopedia Britannica:

Telecommunications: The science and practice of transmitting
information by electromagnetic means. A wide variety of information
can be transferred through a telecommunications system, including
voice and music, still-frame ...

So there!


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