world telecommunication day

World Telecommunication Day

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World Telecommunication and Information Society Day is being observed on Sunday (May 17, 2020).

The theme for this year is

“Connect 2030: ICTs for the Sustainable Development Goals”.

The theme will allow International Telecommunication Union membership to reflect on the ICT advances for transition to smart and sustainable development.

During this COVID-19 crisis, the need for using telecommunication has strongly been highlighted as the entire world is dependent on it to stay connected and be informed. Work from home, a text or call to your loved ones, conference video chat with your friends, all this is possible because of the advanced telecommunication. This pandemic has given us more reason why this day should be celebrated. 

World Telecommunication Day Significance

Today, because of the evolution of technology, the world is different, the times have changed. We are in an information society where information is the most important aspect of society.

The day is celebrated to help raise awareness of benefits that can be provided to communities and economies by the use of the Internet and other information and communication technologies (ICTs), as well as ways to address the digital divide.

World Telecommunication Day Theme

This year’s theme is “Connect 2030: ICTs for Sustainable Development Goals ( SDGs)” which emphasizes developments in ICT for the transition to smart and sustainable growth. It will focus on specific solutions allowed by ICTs and emerging trends to promote cultural, environmental and social sustainability.

The Connect 2030 Agenda is a common global vision for Telecommunications / ICT sector growth. Within its five strategic objectives-development, inclusiveness, sustainability, creativity and partnership.

The SDGs acknowledge that there is tremendous potential for the dissemination of information and communication technologies and global interconnectedness to drive human development and bridge the digital divide.

World Telecommunication Day: It’s ‘Big Data for Big Impact

The world is celebrating the World Telecommunication Day (WTD) today, which is May 17. The world has been celebrating this day since 1969. The main purpose of WTD is to enhance public awareness about the importance of communication and changes brought about by new technologies and internet. Another objective of WTD is to make communication and information accessible to people living in under-developed regions.

WTD celebrates the founding of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a committee formed in 1865 to support the then emerging communication methods. ITU works towards the improvement of communication in developing countries.

In November 2005, the World Summit on the Information Society called upon the General Assembly to declare May 17 as the World Information Society Day to focus on the importance of information and communication technologies (ICT). In November 2006, the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference in Antalya, Turkey, decided to celebrate both events on 17 May as World Telecommunication and Information Society Day.

WTD is celebrated every year with a different theme. The theme for World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD) 1997 was ‘Telecommunications and Humanitarian Assistance’, for WTISD 2006 it was ‘Promoting Global Cyber-security’, for WTISD it was ‘Connecting Persons with Disabilities’, for WTISD 2012 it was ‘Women and Girls in ICT’, for WTISD 2014 it was ‘Broadband for Sustainable Development’.

The theme for WTISD 2017 is ‘Big Data for Big Impact’ which focuses on the power of big data for development. 

Some interesting facts about telecommunications

Before we delve deeper into the different ways that you can celebrate World Telecommunications Day, let’s take a look at some fascinating telecommunications facts that are assured to surprise you…

  • The first text message that was ever sent was by Neil Papworth. It was a festive one as well, stating “Merry Christmas”
  • The first-ever VoIP, Voice over Internet Protocol, was made in December 1974
  • The most common use of mobile phones is to check the time
  • Telephone wires have been ranked based on how tasty mice find them; the tastier the telephone wire, the less likely it was used
  • The Nokia tone for getting an SMS text message is actually Morse code for SMS
  • It took around one year to connect the first phone line between San Francisco and New York
  • The telephone is the most profitable invention in the history of the United States 

How to celebrate World Telecommunications Day

There are a number of different things that you can do in order to celebrate World Telecommunications Day. We would certainly recommend looking at the theme for the year, and you can then do some further research into this. The themes every year are important, yet they are very broad too, which means there is no shortage of the different things that you can learn about. This is the perfect opportunity for you to broaden your knowledge of all things communications related. 

You can also use this day to pay tribute to people who have had a massive impact on the telecommunications and technology industry. There are so many incredible men and women who have made a difference. Why not spend some time learning about some of these people?

You could share information about them on your blog or social media pages in order to pay tribute to the work that they have done.

For example, one woman who is a recognizable name in telecommunications is Shirley Ann Jackson. She was the first African-American to get a doctorate from MIT, collecting a Ph.D. in nuclear physics in the 1970s. However, this only marked the start of her achievements. In 1999, she became the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s 18th president. This is the United States’ oldest technological research university, having been established in 1824. 

Why not celebrate World Telecommunications Day by making the most of these amazing technologies that we have the ability to use with such ease?

For example, why not give one of your friends a call on Skype who you have not spoken to for quite some time? This is a great way to honor World Telecommunications Day, and you may even find that you end up with a new appreciation for the different technologies that we can use to enhance our day-to-day living. 

Finally, the work is not over when it comes to telecommunications. There are a lot of rural and remote areas that are not able to access the telecommunications that we are. Of course, third-world countries do not have access to the same level of technology that we do. It is certainly worth looking into the different projects that are going on.

You may even be able to sign-up to a project so that you can contribute, whether this means making a donation, donating your time, or spreading the word!

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