Telecommunications timeline

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Telecommunications timeline


Minden Place exchange in 1926

From the Jersey Competition Regulatory Authority website

Date Event
1858 Opening of the Channel Islands Telegraph Company cable to Portland in September at offices on corner of Library Place and Church Street, St Helier
1860 Opening of the Submarine Telegraph Company cable to Pirou, Normandy
1861 Channel Islands Telegraph Co cable abandoned
1870 Jersey and Guernsey Telegraph Company cable to Dartmouth opened
1870 Telegraph Act extended by order in council to Channel Islands giving the Post Master General exclusive rights to communications in the islands
1871 General Post Office assumes control of the J&GTCo
1884 GPO replaces single core submarine telegraph cable with 3 core cable
1888 South Western and Wales Telephone company opens first public telephone exchange in June on first floor of building on corner of Bath Street and Minden Place
1889 Submarine Telegraph Co bought out by GPO. All business transferred to Halkett Place Post Office in April
1891 SW&WTCo suspends operations and staff transferred to Weston Super Mare at end of May
1895 National Telephone Co purchases SW&WTCo and reopens switchboard in May. NTCo opens new exchanges at St Aubin in July and at St Peter, St Ouen, Millbrook, La Rocque and Gorey in October
1900 La Moye exchange opened
1901 Five Oaks exchange opened
1902 First public telephone kiosk opened at Weighbridge in May
1902 Weighbridge kiosk removed at Christmas without explanation
1903 Minden Place exchange moved to 1 New Street
1905 St Mary’s exchange opened in May followed by Sion and Trinity exchanges in July
1907 Samares exchange opens
1907 St Lawrence exchange opened
1909 St John’s exchange opened. Telegraphs moved to new PO in Broad Street
1910 Wireless circuit first used for telegraph service during cable fault
1913 States reject idea of purchasing NTCo’s assets thus GPO takes over telephone system in Jersey
1914 German Borkum to Azores telegraph cable cut by Royal Navy and Post Office cable ship and diverted to Plemont as military telegraph circuit at outbreak of war. New cable laid from Greve D’Azette to Cancale to extend military telegraph
1923 States Telephone Department comes into existence on takeover of PO telephones on Jersey at cost of £32,000 in April. Alfred Bennett first Engineer Manager. Start of comprehensive programme of provision of public telephone kiosks around the island. Samares exchange absorbed onto Central
1926 New Central telephone exchange opened in Minden Place on site of old Toy Market (marché des étrangers)
1931 First telephone trunk circuit to UK opened on German cable
1933 Second telephone trunk circuit added on telegraph cable
1935 1 + 1 carrier system on telegraph cable between Jersey and Guernsey resulting in 3 telephone trunk circuits between islands
1936 5 wireless trunk circuits opened from UK to Guernsey. 1 + 1 carrier replaced by 1 + 2 system resulting in 4 inter-island trunks, 3 of which permanently connected to UK via Guernsey
1937 Millbrook and St Aubin exchanges converted to 24 Volt CB 10 switchboards using second-hand equipment
1938 Gorey, Five Oaks and Trinity exchanges converted to 24 Volt CB 10 switchboards
1939 New co-axial cable installed from Dartmouth to Guernsey and on to Jersey. 12 carrier telephone trunk circuits now shared between the islands. Trinity Gardens repeater station opens
1940 War Office installs cable between Dartmouth and Guernsey then to Jersey and from Jersey to France. Service opened briefly at end of May before German occupation
June 1940 to May 1945 German occupation sees communications with outside world cut and decline in telephone system. Up to 2000 lines incorporated into German military telephone system. Germans open exchange in Lyric Hall (opposite Central exchange). Percy Luxon assumes role of Engineer Manager after John Stanhope evacuates. Luxon ensures continuity of telephone system inaugurating a “broadcast” system over the telephone network to provide news and information service.
1945 Telegraph service restored using temporary military wireless link on 10 May. Trunk telephone service restored the following month. Rapid uptake of telephone service after the war leads the Telephone Department to request subscribers limit calls over the Christmas period because of shortages of equipment and staff
1946 Telephone Department and Jersey Evening Post resume Muratti “broadcasts” after the war. Speakers erected outside JEP offices and commentary relayed from Guernsey. This service continued until 1961. Upgrading of telephone system considered. Automatic systems rejected because of cost. La Moye exchange closed and subscribers transferred to St Aubin. La Rocque exchange closed and subscribers transferred to Gorey
1947 Pye mobile radio tested by local taxi companies. States agree plans to develop four new manual telephone exchanges to replace aging country exchanges
1949 Western CB 10 telephone exchange opened in August with 800 lines using cancelled export order from Ericsson’s of Beeston. Replaces St Ouen’s and St Peter’s exchanges
1950 Rediffusion opens its cable service for St Helier in September, relaying BBC and Radio Luxembourg broadcasts. Trunk call charges reduced in October
1951 In April Northern CB 10 exchanges opens with 1000 lines supplied by GEC of Coventry. Replaces Trinity, Sion, St John and St Lawrence exchanges
1952 Southern CB 10 exchanges opens in March with 1200 lines supplied by GEC of Coventry. Replaces St Aubin’s exchange. Luxon dies replaced by S G Syvret
1953 AA emergency telephone boxes installed around island. Last remaining box now preserved near Trinity church. Rediffusion wire TV service relays Queen Elizabeth’s coronation. Lyric Hall relief exchange for Central opened in July.
1954 New trunk exchange opened in extension above telephone offices in Minden Place. Cables to UK upgraded with submarine repeaters to increase capacity to 60 circuits each.
1955 States approve building of automatic exchange for Central. BBC opens television transmitter at Les Platons. Signals repeated from off-air reception from Wenvoe. Eastern CB 10 exchange supplied by GEC of Coventry opens with 2000 lines replacing Gorey and Five Oaks in October
1956 Public Telex service introduced by GPO
1957 More than 7,500 TV licenses issued on island
1958 Great snow storm brings down more than 4,700 telephone lines in single night. Rediffusion opens second TV service relaying Southern television, claiming over 4,000 subscribers by end of year
1959 Central automatic exchange installed by GEC of Coventry opens with 9,000 lines
1960 Millbrook exchange closes as subscribers transferred to Central. Syvret retires and is replaced by Harry Coppock. Telephone recorded information services opened using second hand machines from GPO laboratories Dollis Hill
1961 States extend Commercial Television Act (1954) to Jersey. Channel Communications Limited (Channel Television) awarded franchise for Channel Islands by ITA. BBC open VHF transmitter at Les Platons
1962 ITA completes transmitter mast at Frémont amid planning permission controversy in the States. Gale brings down over 4,000 telephone lines. Telephone Department embarks on comprehensive line plant upgrade later in year. Channel Television opens in September
1963 Telephone Department introduces new style standard telephone kiosk made locally of hardwood
1964 Speaking Clock service (TIM) introduced using equipment from Ericsson’s of Beeston. 2,000 line extension on Central completed
1965 Rise in telephone demand causes serious delays on trunk calls
1966 Subscriber Trunk Dialling (STD) introduced and South automatic exchange opens in June. New submarine cable installed, cable ship CS Poolster runs aground during operation
1967 UK government White Paper suggests offshore islands should run their own telecommunications.
1968 Following closure of ’pirate’ stations, the Sound Radio Committee formed by the States to investigate local radio – no outcome for 14 years. States agree to buy trunk system and negotiations begin
1969 Call boxes converted to STD. TIM replaced by new more reliable German machine. New recorded announcement machines enable more services to be offered
1970 Jersey’s oldest surviving telephone box removed from Central Market to make way for electricity substation. Telephone line rental increased 50% from £2 to £3 per quarter
1971 Telephone Department chooses Pentaconta crossbar switching equipment from Italian ITT subsidiary FACE Standard for North and East automatic exchanges. CTV opens its own microwave link to Guernsey studios
1972 Rapid growth of telephone system strains resources. States debate Telecommunications (Jersey) Law 1972. First data network installed for Sewerage Board
1973 States take over trunk system from Post Office Telephones. States Telephone Department renamed Telecommunications Board. Celebrations for 50 years of States ownership of telephone network. Telecommunications Board awards contract for new West exchange to Pye TMC of St Mary Cray for ultra-modern PRX electronic switching system. Jersey Airport constructs mast at Five Oaks for aircraft and airport communications services.
1974 Oil crisis causes power problems. Comprehensive power saving programme initiated. FACE Standard experiences material shortages and industrial action causing delays to new telephone exchanges which will now not open on time thus making the 1974 telephone directory effectively useless. Line shortages prompt hiring of mobile telephone exchange from Post Office to relieve Central. Emergency extensions improvised at North and East. Harry Coppock announces early retirement and is replaced by Leslie May as Director of Telecommunications
1975 North and East automatic exchanges open in May. PRX exchange opens at Central in October.
1976 West exchange PRX cut into service in February. International Subscriber Dialling opens in May except for call boxes. ITV begins colour television service in July. BBC makes sharing agreement with ITA for colour television in time for Christmas
1977 All cables to UK fail in January, island cut off for 3 days. Telephone Engineering Centre at Five Oaks opens
1978 Repeater TV transmitter opened on the JEC tower at La Collette to improve television reception in and around St Helier
1979 Telecommunications Board opens its own Telex switching system. Radio Paging system installed. Total failure of submarine cables for three and a half days prompts Board to investigate alternative connectivity
1981 ISD available from call boxes. 960 channel standby microwave circuit to Isle of Wight via Guernsey commissioned
1982 Inland telegram service ceases. BBC opens local radio station from studio in Rouge Boullion using MW transmitter shared with Radio 2, initial programmes less than 2 hours daily. Move to privatize the telephone system narrowly defeated in the States. New 1,380 channel submarine cable commissioned (CI No 6)
1983 60,000th telephone set connected
1984 CI No 6 part buried to mitigate cable failures. Microwave circuit between Jersey and France opened. Leslie May appointed States Treasurer. Tom Ayton appointed Director of Telecommunications. Board relaxes its monopoly in line with UK to permit third party supply of customer premise equipment. Rediffusion opens its Cablevision service relaying satellite services. BBC opens stereo FM service and Radio Jersey shares FM transmitter with Radio 2.
1986 System X trunk exchange brought into service. 1,920 channel microwave link opened between Jersey and Guernsey
1987 System X local exchange brought into service with 8,000 lines, replacing the Strowger exchange numbers 3XXXX. First combined local/trunk System X in service. Analogue Cellular Radio service opened in association with UK provider Cellnet. Transmitter mast at Five Oaks replaced to with larger structure
1988 System X switch replaces old automatic equipment at South exchange. Further liberalization of telecom monopoly to allow subscriber self-install. Card operated public telephones introduced replacing cash operated boxes. Partial deregulation of UK broadcasting allows BBC Jersey to transmit up to 12 hours of local content per day. Local commercial radio stations Force 7 and Contact 94 both operating from France broadcast in English to Channel Islands. Rediffusion cable network sold to newly formed company Jersey Cable Limited
1989 System X rack mounted power supplies create space saving at Central. CI No 7 digital cable installed between Guernsey and UK connected via microwave circuits to Jersey
1991 Tom Ayton retires. Bob Lawrence appointed Director of Telecommunications
1992 2,000 subscribers on cellular radio network. Board introduces new computer system for billing and management. Six figure numbering implemented on some exchanges in order to gain more capacity on network. Independent commercial radio station Channel 103 wins franchise for Jersey
1994 States Telecommunication Board opens its own GSM cellular service with equipment from Alcatel. CI No 8 12 fibre core 155Mb/s cable opened from St Ouen’s Bay and Jersey-Guernsey No 4 from Saints Bay to Greve de Lecq opened
1995 PRX exchange at West closed as subscribers connected to System X concentrator parented on South main unit
1996 PRX exchange at Central closed as subscribers connected to System X
1997 Newtel Limited formed as telecommunications provider after taking over the assets of Jersey Cable Limited and obtains a Class licence from the Telecommunications Board
1999 All fixed line numbers changed to 6 digits. Five digit numbers prefixed with ‘7’. Analogue mobile network closed down.
2000 Fixed line numbers no longer tied to location, subscribers can keep number when moving to different area on island. SMS introduced on JT’s GSM service. CIEG submarine fibre optic cable commissioned between Jersey and France. Broadband ADSL service introduced
2001 Mobile prefixes change as Oftel introduces new numbering plan
2002 States approve Telecommunications (Jersey) Law 2002, paving way for competition in the telecommunications market.
2003 Newtel Limited and Interactive Online receive telecommunications licences. Cable & Wireless Jersey receives licence in December. CIEG telecommunications cable commissioned. Jersey Telecom introduces Pay-as-you-go mobile service. Cardphones withdrawn and replaced by cash public telephones
2004 C&W launches its fixed line services
2005 3G spectrum licenses granted to all Jersey mobile operators
2006 Jersey Airtel granted telecommunications licence. C&W launches its GSM service.
2007 Jersey Airtel opens its GSM and 3G mobile network. Jersey Telecom and C&W add 3G to existing mobile networks
2008 150th anniversary of telecommunications in Jersey. Jersey Telecom installs new submarine cable named Project Liberty landing in Guernsey and onward to Jersey over its IRU on the CIEG. Mobile Number Portability introduced on 1 December
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