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Evolution, innovation and regulation in telecoms, media and technology

To celebrate our 50th anniversary, we have compiled a timeline of more than 50 significant developments, launches, failures and trends that have taken place over the last five decades. Some of these are major trends, others lesser known but nonetheless impactful in the role they’ve played in shaping how we communicate, learn, govern and do business today.


Five Decades, Five Trends – How Technology Changed Behaviour 28.10.2019
The rise of the independent regulator
From Public to Private: The Relentless Rise of the Independent Regulator 08.11.2019
Convergence Brings a New Era of Competition Regulation 28.10.2019
The birth of the IIC
Science Fact or Fiction? The Birth of the IIC 08.11.2019
[{"title":"The Net Rises","text":"<p>An experimental computer network, ARPANET was a Defence research project that eventually gave rise to the internet of today. It was publicly demonstrated in 1972, when the first email was sent.<\/p>\n","image":"https:\/\/\/wp-content\/uploads\/2019\/09\/arpanet-5.jpg","sector":"Technology Events, Trends And Innovations","decade":"1969","date":"1969"},{"title":"'Houston we've had a problem'","text":"<p>On April 13th, an oxygen tank explodes on Apollo 13. 500 million people watch as the drama unfolds, and the line uttered by astronaut John Swigert becomes one of the most misquoted in history.<\/p>\n","image":"https:\/\/\/wp-content\/uploads\/2019\/09\/1970-Houston-weve-had-a-problem-300x224.jpg","sector":"Technology Events, Trends And Innovations","decade":"1979","date":"1970"},{"title":"All on one chip","text":"<p>Intel’s microprocessor created a CPU from a single chip, providing instant miniaturisation and the decades of multiplying computing power to come.<\/p>\n","image":"https:\/\/\/wp-content\/uploads\/2019\/09\/1971-Intel-launch-the-worlds-first-microprocessor-768x512.jpg","sector":"Technology Events, Trends And Innovations","decade":"1979","date":"1971"},{"title":"Pong hits arcades","text":"<p>With its simple and intuitive set-up of ‘two bats and a ball’, Pong was the tennis-like arcade game that mesmerised a generation while providing them with their first computer interaction.<\/p>\n","image":"https:\/\/\/wp-content\/uploads\/2019\/09\/1972-Pong-hits-arcades-768x576.jpg","sector":"Technology Events, Trends And Innovations","decade":"1979","date":"1972"},{"title":"Two world changing events","text":"<p>‘InterMedia’ set out an agenda for debate in the communications and technology industries. In the same year the first call was made from a mobile phone.<\/p>\n","image":"https:\/\/\/wp-content\/uploads\/2019\/09\/Intermedia-1973.jpg","sector":"Technology Events, Trends And Innovations","decade":"1979","date":"1973"},{"title":"Now read here","text":"<p>CEEFAX delivered text information within the television signal, providing news and information pages, and enabling subtitling.<\/p>\n","image":"https:\/\/\/wp-content\/uploads\/2019\/09\/BBC_Ceefax_logo.svg_-1024x785.png","sector":"Technology Events, Trends And Innovations","decade":"1979","date":"1974"},{"title":"The DIY PC","text":"<p>Supplied in kit form, the MITS Altair 8800 was the world&#8217;s first recognisable personal computer, with the Apple I appearing in the following year.<\/p>\n","image":"https:\/\/\/wp-content\/uploads\/2019\/09\/1975-Altair-8800.jpg","sector":"Technology Events, Trends And Innovations","decade":"1979","date":"1975"},{"title":"The end of the film industry?","text":"<p>VHS became the standard video system. Film companies argued strongly against it, fearing that video viewing would ‘kill the film industry stone dead’.<\/p>\n","image":"https:\/\/\/wp-content\/uploads\/2019\/09\/1976-End-of-the-film-industry-1.jpg","sector":"Technology Events, Trends And Innovations","decade":"1979","date":"1976"},{"title":"Look no driver!","text":"<p>The first ‘road-going’ autonomous passenger vehicle was produced by Tsukuba Mechanical in Japan. It used two cameras to recognise street markings while travelling at nearly 20 miles per hour.<\/p>\n","image":"https:\/\/\/wp-content\/uploads\/2019\/10\/Tsukuba-vehicle.jpg","sector":"Technology Events, Trends And Innovations","decade":"1979","date":"1977"},{"title":"Jaws on Disc","text":"<p>Marketed as ‘Discovision’, the first LaserDisc featured the film ‘Jaws’. It never achieved commercial success, but was the forerunner of the CD and DVD.<\/p>\n","image":"https:\/\/\/wp-content\/uploads\/2019\/10\/1978-Jaws-on-disc-1024x614.jpg","sector":"Technology Events, Trends And Innovations","decade":"1979","date":"1978"},{"title":"Songs in your pocket","text":"<p>Famously failing in research, the Sony Walkman introduced the concept of personal listening on-the-go, to the delight of teenagers and the annoyance of train passengers.<\/p>\n","image":"https:\/\/\/wp-content\/uploads\/2019\/10\/1979-The-Sony-Walkman-1-1024x578.jpg","sector":"Technology Events, Trends And Innovations","decade":"1979","date":"1979"},{"title":"The Post-it note finally sticks","text":"<p>After years of failures the Post-it note rapidly became one of the most successful pieces of communications technology of all-time.<\/p>\n","image":"https:\/\/\/wp-content\/uploads\/2019\/10\/1980-The-Post-It-Note.jpg","sector":"Technology Events, Trends And Innovations","decade":"1989","date":"1980"},{"title":"Boxing goes Box Office","text":"<p>Sugar Ray Leonard and Thomas Hearns fought it out for the Welterweight Championship in September 1981 in the first major pay per view sporting event in the world.<\/p>\n","image":"https:\/\/\/wp-content\/uploads\/2019\/10\/leonard-versus-hearns-620x381.jpg","sector":"Technology Events, Trends And Innovations","decade":"1989","date":"1981"},{"title":"\u2018Le Premier Service En Ligne\u2019","text":"<p>A videotext online service using the telephone network, Minitel users could access a range of information via special terminals. ‘The best pre-internet online service’ had, at its peak, 10 million French subscribers.<\/p>\n","image":"https:\/\/\/wp-content\/uploads\/2019\/10\/1982-Minitel.jpg","sector":"Technology Events, Trends And Innovations","decade":"1989","date":"1982"},{"title":"\u2018Big Bang(alore)\u2019","text":"<p>Infosys and Wipro moved their offices to Bangalore to take advantage of the technology skills available locally, and several international businesses followed them. It was the start of the ‘IT outsourcing’ model, and eventually turned Bangalore (now Bengaluru) into a global technology hub.<\/p>\n","image":"https:\/\/\/wp-content\/uploads\/2019\/10\/1983-Bengaluru-technlogy-hub.jpg","sector":"Technology Events, Trends And Innovations","decade":"1989","date":"1983"},{"title":"The email system that wasn't quite","text":"<p>The ‘x series’ was developed by the EU as a secure email system. It failed when its clumsy address configuration and limited network meant that staff opted for the widely-used smtp system instead.<\/p>\n","image":"https:\/\/\/wp-content\/uploads\/2019\/10\/1984-email.jpg","sector":"Technology Events, Trends And Innovations","decade":"1989","date":"1984"},{"title":"'Give us your ******* money'","text":"<p>Watched by 1.4 billion of the world’s then 5 billion population, Live Aid was described as the ‘biggest charity gig in history’, raising $164 million for Ethiopia after some &#8216;gentle encouragement&#8217; from Bob Geldof.<\/p>\n","image":"https:\/\/\/wp-content\/uploads\/2019\/10\/1985-Live-Aid.jpg","sector":"Technology Events, Trends And Innovations","decade":"1989","date":"1985"},{"title":"Got 20 bucks?","text":"<p>On March 13th Microsoft listed on the NASDAQ for $21 a share. One share purchased at the IPO would now have returned $33,600.<\/p>\n","image":"https:\/\/\/wp-content\/uploads\/2019\/10\/1986-Microsoft-listed-on-NYSE.jpg","sector":"Technology Events, Trends And Innovations","decade":"1989","date":"1986"},{"title":"The future is widescreen","text":"<p>NHK in Japan demonstrated the first high definition television. The subsequent specification of HDTV as a 16:9 only format helped to ensure the adoption of widescreen as the TV standard by the mid-2000s.<\/p>\n","image":"https:\/\/\/wp-content\/uploads\/2019\/10\/1987-NHK-HDTV.jpg","sector":"Technology Events, Trends And Innovations","decade":"1989","date":"1987"},{"title":"The first worm","text":"<p>6,000 computers went offline when Cornell student Robert Morris created the first &#8216;distributed denial of service&#8217; attack, and raised a whole new industry issue &#8211; cybersecurity.<\/p>\n","image":"https:\/\/\/wp-content\/uploads\/2019\/10\/1988-Robert-Morris-distributed-denial-of-service.jpg","sector":"Technology Events, Trends And Innovations","decade":"1989","date":"1988"},{"title":"The Fax as social media","text":"<p>During the protests in Tiananmen Square, China, in 1989, TV stations and radio signals were shut down. Campaigners instead used fax machines to co-ordinate and report on the protests, foreshadowing the use of social media in the ‘Arab Spring’ of 2011.<\/p>\n","image":"https:\/\/\/wp-content\/uploads\/2019\/10\/1989-Tiananmen-Square-Protest.jpg","sector":"Technology Events, Trends And Innovations","decade":"1989","date":"1989"},{"title":"The Spectrum Auction","text":"<p>With digital services emerging, the FCC turned to academics and economists for a solution. The result was the &#8216;spectrum auction&#8217;. Credited with raising billions for governments around the world, the auction has become an industry standard model.<\/p>\n","image":"https:\/\/\/wp-content\/uploads\/2019\/10\/tony-stoddard-454601-unsplash-1024x683.jpg","sector":"Policy & Regulatory Landmarks","decade":"1999","date":"1990s"},{"title":"Hubble zooms in","text":"<p>The famous space telescope entered orbit on April 24th, enabling discoveries such as the age of the universe, the formation of planets and the supermassive black hole.<\/p>\n","image":"https:\/\/\/wp-content\/uploads\/2019\/10\/1990-hubble_space_telescope.jpg","sector":"Technology Events, Trends And Innovations","decade":"1999","date":"1990"},{"title":"Thanks, I'll build my own","text":"<p>Linus Thorvald created the open source LINUX operating system when, as a student, he couldn’t afford to buy UNIX. Today LINUX is used in servers, mobile phones and almost all of the world’s supercomputers.<\/p>\n","image":"https:\/\/\/wp-content\/uploads\/2019\/10\/1991-Linux-.jpg","sector":"Technology Events, Trends And Innovations","decade":"1999","date":"1991"},{"title":"'Merry Christmas'","text":"<p>‘Merry Christmas’ was the first text message. Developed during the mid-1980s by a team at GSM, the Short Message Service (SMS) was the original, basic example of mobile data transfer. It also gave rise to that gr8 innvtn, txt lnguge.<\/p>\n","image":"https:\/\/\/wp-content\/uploads\/2019\/10\/1992-The-first-text-message.jpg","sector":"Technology Events, Trends And Innovations","decade":"1999","date":"1992"},{"title":"Handheld computing doesn't quite take off","text":"<p>The Apple Newton ‘personal digital assistant’ promised an ‘office in your pocket’. Derided by many, it was cited by Steve Jobs as the inspiration for the iPhone 14 years later.<\/p>\n","image":"https:\/\/\/wp-content\/uploads\/2019\/10\/1993-Apple-Newton.jpg","sector":"Technology Events, Trends And Innovations","decade":"1999","date":"1993"},{"title":"'Have you ever clicked your mouse right here? You soon will'","text":"<p>The first ever banner ad, run by AT&amp;T, preceded the first ever pop-ad in the same year, something for which the inventor, Ethan Zuckermann, subsequently apologised. But the advertising-based model for the internet had been established.<\/p>\n","image":"https:\/\/\/wp-content\/uploads\/2019\/10\/first-banner.jpg","sector":"Technology Events, Trends And Innovations","decade":"1999","date":"1994"},{"title":"A.L.I.C.E - Fancy a Chat?","text":"<p>With ‘Artificial Linguistic Internet Computer Entitity’ came heuristic pattern matching to human input, and the ability to ‘have a conversation’. This became the basis for the chatbots we know and love today.<\/p>\n","image":"https:\/\/\/wp-content\/uploads\/2019\/10\/1995-A.L.I.C.E-Chatbot.jpg","sector":"Technology Events, Trends And Innovations","decade":"1999","date":"1995"},{"title":"Check Mate","text":"<p>The IBM Computer, Deep Blue, beat World Champion Gary Kasparov at chess, in a dramatic sign of the growing power of machine learning.<\/p>\n","image":"https:\/\/\/wp-content\/uploads\/2019\/10\/1996-Kasparov-v-Deep-Blue.jpg","sector":"Technology Events, Trends And Innovations","decade":"1999","date":"1996"},{"title":"The 'blog' emerges","text":"<p>The term &#8216;weblog&#8217; was coined, and a sea of diaries, thoughts and opinions began seeping out across the worldwide web. In the early 2000s, someone added a video to their blog, giving rise to the &#8216;vlog&#8217;.<\/p>\n","image":"https:\/\/\/wp-content\/uploads\/2019\/10\/iStock-863558910-1-1024x683.jpg","sector":"Changing Behaviours","decade":"1999","date":"1997"},{"title":"Not on the Net, Yet...","text":"<p>Netflix was founded as a new subscription service distributing DVDs by post, nine years before the streaming service began and the category of ‘over-the-top’ providers came into being.<\/p>\n","image":"https:\/\/\/wp-content\/uploads\/2019\/10\/1998-OTT-providers-start-streaming-1024x512.jpg","sector":"Technology Events, Trends And Innovations","decade":"1999","date":"1998"},{"title":"Phones go smart","text":"<p>The first commercial scale smartphone, the NTT DoCoMo used i-mode, a ‘mobile internet’ platform that provided web services including online shopping.<\/p>\n","image":"https:\/\/\/wp-content\/uploads\/2019\/10\/1999-The-smartphone.jpg","sector":"Technology Events, Trends And Innovations","decade":"1999","date":"1999"},{"title":"The bug that never was!","text":"<p>In the lead-up to 31st December 1999, an estimated $300Bn was spent around the world to correct the ‘millennium bug’, which was expected to cause havoc as computer clocks were tipped back to 1900.<\/p>\n","image":"https:\/\/\/wp-content\/uploads\/2019\/10\/2000-Y2K-bug.jpg","sector":"Technology Events, Trends And Innovations","decade":"2009","date":"2000"},{"title":"Hang on, I recognise you","text":"<p>100,000 fans attending Super Bowl XXXV in Tampa had their faces scanned by US law enforcement authorities. The first public use of facial recognition technology, 19 suspects were identified as a result.<\/p>\n","image":"https:\/\/\/wp-content\/uploads\/2019\/10\/2001-Facial-recognition-1024x718.jpg","sector":"Technology Events, Trends And Innovations","decade":"2009","date":"2001"},{"title":"'No-one left behind'","text":"<p>The EU adopted a directive requiring ‘that every user can access basic communications services at a reasonable quality and an affordable price’. Addressing the ‘digital divide’ has been a central focus of international organisations for the last 20 years.<\/p>\n","image":"https:\/\/\/wp-content\/uploads\/2019\/10\/2002-Universal-Service-Obligation.jpg","sector":"Policy & Regulatory Landmarks","decade":"2009","date":"2002"},{"title":"Net Neutrality enters the lexicon","text":"<p>The principle of ‘net neutrality’ was to ensure equal, unmediated access for all carriers. It was in 2003 that the term was coined by Professor Tim Wu, of Columbia University.<\/p>\n","image":"https:\/\/\/wp-content\/uploads\/2019\/10\/2004-Net-Neutrality.jpg","sector":"Technology Events, Trends And Innovations","decade":"2009","date":"2003"},{"title":"Asimo - the running robot","text":"<p>First launched as the ‘humanoid robot’ in 2000, four years later Honda engineers succeeded in building an Asimo capable of running, albeit somewhat awkwardly.<\/p>\n","image":"https:\/\/\/wp-content\/uploads\/2019\/10\/2004-Asimo-the-running-robot.jpg","sector":"Technology Events, Trends And Innovations","decade":"2009","date":"2004"},{"title":"'Me at the Zoo'","text":"<p>The first YouTube video was entitled &#8216;Me at the Zoo&#8217;.  Professional “YouTubers” began to appear, though the term wasn’t added to the Oxford English Dictionary until 2016.<\/p>\n","image":"https:\/\/\/wp-content\/uploads\/2019\/10\/2005-Me-at-the-zoo.jpg","sector":"Technology Events, Trends And Innovations","decade":"2009","date":"2005"},{"title":"140 characters","text":"<p>The launch of Twitter brought with it a whole new lexicon, including followers, hashtag, tweet as a verb and tweet as a noun.<\/p>\n","image":"https:\/\/\/wp-content\/uploads\/2019\/10\/2006-Twitter-140-characters.jpg","sector":"Technology Events, Trends And Innovations","decade":"2009","date":"2006"},{"title":"Banking for the unbanked","text":"<p>Requiring no account or card, the M-PESA service was originally launched in Kenya to manage loans. After gaining rapid popularity, the service spread across Africa, and then to India and Europe.<\/p>\n","image":"https:\/\/\/wp-content\/uploads\/2019\/10\/2007-Mpesa-1024x576.jpg","sector":"Technology Events, Trends And Innovations","decade":"2009","date":"2007"},{"title":"The digital president","text":"<p>Using social media and data analysis on a mass scale, the US presidential campaign for Barack Obama was seen as a landmark in the use of technology for electioneering.<\/p>\n","image":"https:\/\/\/wp-content\/uploads\/2019\/10\/2008-the-digital-president.jpg","sector":"Technology Events, Trends And Innovations","decade":"2009","date":"2008"},{"title":"Pizza, Sir? That\u2019ll be $70 million! ","text":"<p>Bitcoin officially began trading. A year later the first transaction, for two pizzas, cost 10,000 BTC &#8211; roughly $70m at current exchange rates.<\/p>\n","image":"https:\/\/\/wp-content\/uploads\/2019\/10\/2009-Bitcoin.jpg","sector":"Technology Events, Trends And Innovations","decade":"2009","date":"2009"},{"title":"The rise of the 'influencer'","text":"<p>With the launch of Instagram, the nascent profession of ‘influencing’ gained a powerful new tool. Marketers took note as millions of adoring fans began to follow their idols’ stories – and purchases.<\/p>\n","image":"https:\/\/\/wp-content\/uploads\/2019\/10\/2010-The-rise-of-the-influencer.jpg","sector":"Technology Events, Trends And Innovations","decade":"2019","date":"2010"},{"title":"Digital books reach a tipping point","text":"<p>Amazon reported that sales of ebooks outsold physical books for the first time. By 2017 books were staging a comeback, with sales growing faster than ebooks.<\/p>\n","image":"https:\/\/\/wp-content\/uploads\/2019\/10\/2011-Digital-books-reach-tipping-point.jpg","sector":"Technology Events, Trends And Innovations","decade":"2019","date":"2011"},{"title":"Who owns the Internet?","text":"<p>At the latest ITU conference, agreement on draft new treaty fails as countries disagree on equal access, online censorship, and texts on ‘human rights’.<\/p>\n","image":"https:\/\/\/wp-content\/uploads\/2019\/10\/2012-Internet-governance.jpg","sector":"Technology Events, Trends And Innovations","decade":"2019","date":"2012"},{"title":"The 20th Anniversary of Nollywood","text":"<p>The origins of Nigerian cinema as a cultural force was traced back by some to a film called &#8220;Living in Bondage&#8221; in 1992<\/p>\n","image":"https:\/\/\/wp-content\/uploads\/2019\/10\/2012-The-20th-Anniversary-of-Nollywood-.jpg","sector":"Changing Behaviours","decade":"2019","date":"2012"},{"title":"He's one of us!","text":"<p>Designed as part of a research project to test public acceptance of robots, ‘Hitchbot’ happily hitched its\/his\/her way around Canada for the next two years before being found headless in Philadelphia in 2015.<\/p>\n","image":"https:\/\/\/wp-content\/uploads\/2019\/10\/2013-Hitchbot.jpg","sector":"Technology Events, Trends And Innovations","decade":"2019","date":"2013"},{"title":"Rise of the sharing economy","text":"<p>The ‘sharing economy’ described business models based on levering value from underused assets. Examples are airbnb (house-sharing) and blahblahcar (ride-sharing). The term evolved to include companies operating a digital rental model, such as Uber.<\/p>\n","image":"https:\/\/\/wp-content\/uploads\/2019\/10\/fikri-rasyid-689579-unsplash-1024x683.jpg","sector":"Changing Behaviours","decade":"2019","date":"2013"},{"title":"A smarter pair of glasses","text":"<p>In the trend for wearable tech, the Google Glass ‘optical mounted head display’ was seen as a step towards ‘augmented reality’. Complaints of discomfort and aesthetics resulted in the product being withdrawn a year later.<\/p>\n","image":"https:\/\/\/wp-content\/uploads\/2019\/10\/2014-Google-Glass-1024x576.jpg","sector":"Technology Events, Trends And Innovations","decade":"2019","date":"2014"},{"title":"Ethical AI","text":"<p>4,500 of the world’s leading AI researchers sign a declaration rejecting the use of Artificial Intelligence in the development of Autonomous Weapons.<\/p>\n","image":"https:\/\/\/wp-content\/uploads\/2019\/10\/iStock-801569396-1017x1024.jpg","sector":"Technology Events, Trends And Innovations","decade":"2019","date":"2015"},{"title":"'Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful'","text":"<p>‘GO’ World Champion Lee Sedol is stunned by the defining move of his ‘AlphaGo’ computer opponent in the latest defeat of humans by machines at board games.<\/p>\n","image":"https:\/\/\/wp-content\/uploads\/2019\/10\/2016-Go-defeats-Lee-Sedol-1024x683.jpg","sector":"Technology Events, Trends And Innovations","decade":"2019","date":"2016"},{"title":"Enough to make you weep?","text":"<p>The ‘Wannacry’ ransomware attack hits 150 countries, affecting hospitals, power stations, utilities, banks and government services. Windows users belatedly apply their updates.<\/p>\n","image":"https:\/\/\/wp-content\/uploads\/2019\/10\/2017-Wannacry-1024x576.jpg","sector":"Technology Events, Trends And Innovations","decade":"2019","date":"2017"},{"title":"A new era of privacy","text":"<p>Supporters welcome the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation in the EU, with detractors concerned about bureaucracy and heavy-handedness.<\/p>\n","image":"https:\/\/\/wp-content\/uploads\/2019\/10\/2018-GDPR-.jpg","sector":"Technology Events, Trends And Innovations","decade":"2019","date":"2018"},{"title":"The quantum future","text":"<p>IBM announce the ‘Q System’, the first quantum computer designed for commercial applications – though still a prototype.<\/p>\n","image":"https:\/\/\/wp-content\/uploads\/2019\/10\/2019-The-quantum-future.jpg","sector":"Technology Events, Trends And Innovations","decade":"2019","date":"2019"}] /



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