Postmaster-General's Department

Postmaster-General's Department

The Postmaster-General's Department (PMG) was created at Federation in 1901 to control all postal (and later, telecommunications) services within Australia. Its minister was the Postmaster-General. In mid-1975 it was disaggregated into the Australian Telecommunications Commission (trading as Telecom Australia) and the Australian Postal Commission (trading as Australia Post). It also controlled radio and television broadcast licensing, which is now controlled by the Australian Communications and Media Authority. Telecom Australia changed its name to Telstra in 1995.

Early history (telephony)

The earliest telephone exchanges in Australia date back to 1880. All phone calls were manually switched by human operators. The Melbourne exchange opened with just 44 customers.

The first automatic exchange opened in 1912, featuring electromechanical switching equipment. Cross-bar systems started appearing in 1960. Electronic switching began in the late 1970s. [cite |author=Telecom Australia |title=Switching Tomorrow |publisher=HQ Information and Publicity office |date=1979 ]

The Victorian Telecommunications Museum houses examples of old technology used since the PMG's inception.


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