RADIO - THE MILESTONES
 
1873 James Clerk Maxwell identifies electromagnetic waves with light as their visible manifestation
1887 Heinrich Hertz demonstrates the existence of radio waves, predicted by Maxwell
1894 Sir Oliver Lodge unveils a "coherer" to detect radio waves, and demonstrates that radio could be used for signalling
1895
GUGLIELMO MARCONIGUGLIELMO MARCONI DEVELOPS A MORE PRACTICAL MEANS OF SENDING AND RECEIVING RADIO SIGNALS, BUT THE ITALIAN AUTHORITIES ARE UNIMPRESSED
1896 Marconi demonstrates his system in Britain, and files his first patent
1898 First use of radio in naval manoeuvres
1899 First international radio communication, between England and France
1899 First distress call, from the East Goodwin lightship
1901
FIRST TRANSATLANTIC COMMUNICATIONFIRST TRANSATLANTIC COMMUNICATION, BETWEEN CORNWALL AND NEWFOUNDLAND
1904 Ambrose Fleming invents the thermionic valve, improving the performance of radio receivers
1904 Government introduces radio licence fees on the basis of recovering administrative costs
1906 Lee de Forest adds an extra element to Fleming's diodes, his triodes improve reception and allow amplification
1906 Crystals identified as a good detector of radio signals. In the early 1920s the crystal set, adjusted by the "cat's whisker" (fine wire) became a low-cost way of receiving early broadcasts
1909 1,700 people rescued from the SS Republic: the Marconi radio operator sent 200 signals to guide rescuers
1910
DR CRIPPEN ARRESTEDWIFE-KILLER DR CRIPPEN ARRESTED WHILE FLEEING TO CANADA
1912
TITANIC700 RESCUED FROM THE TITANIC - "THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN SAVED HAVE BEEN SAVED THROUGH ONE MAN, MR MARCONI" SAID LORD SAMUEL, POSTMASTER GENERAL
1918 Wireless Telegraphy Board created to co-ordinate moves to avoid radio interference
1920 First advertised broadcasts in Britain, including a June recital by Dame Nellie Melba
1922 Marconi Company sets up London broadcasting station - 2LO - that was subsequently taken over by the British Broadcasting Company (later Corporation)
1925 Westinghouse Company in Pittsburgh starts international broadcasting
1925 John Logie Baird demonstrates television at Selfridges
1929 Marconi's network linking Britain with Argentina, Brazil, the USA and Canada becomes Cable and Wireless Ltd
1932
BRITISH EMPIRE SERVICEBRITISH EMPIRE SERVICE - FORERUNNER OF THE BBC WORLD SERVICE - BROADCASTS FROM DAVENTRY
1932

Marconi installs first microwave telephone link between the Vatican and the Pope's official residence

1932 International Telegraph Union (ITU) becomes International Telecommunication Union reflecting its role in radio communications
1936 BBC Television Service begins (but is suspended during the war)
1937 Guglielmo Marconi dies in Italy: wireless stations observe two-minutes radio silence
1945 Arthur C Clarke proposes geostationery satellites for global communications
1947 ITU becomes a specialised agency of the United Nations, creates the International Frequency Registration Board
1949 Wireless Telegraphy Act gives management of the radio spectrum to the General Post Office
1952 Start of ITU technical co-operation activities
1952 Single television standard of 625 lines at 50 frames/second proposed for Europe
1953 Radio Amateurs Emergency Network (RAYNET) formed by the Radio Society of Great Britain following extensive flooding
1955 ITV begins broadcasting
1957
SPUTNIK 1FIRST SATELLITE - SPUTNIK 1 - GOES INTO ORBIT
1962 Telstar satellite allows live transatlantic television transmissions
1964 BBC2BBC2 BEGINS BROADCASTING
1966 Live pictures broadcast from the moon
1967

Marine Broadcasting Offences Act makes it illegal to advertise on pirate stations like Radio London and Radio Caroline

1967 Radio 1 begins broadcasting
1967 BBC2 introduces colour
1969 BBC1 and ITV introduce colour
1969 Post Office Act moves radio spectrum management to the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications
1971 First World Telecommunication Exhibition and Forum in Geneva
1973 Independent radio begins in the UK
1974 Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications dissolved - radio spectrum management moves to the Radio Regulatory Division of the Home Office
1982 CHANNEL 4CHANNEL 4 BEGINS BROADCASTING
1983 World Communications Year
1983 Radio Regulatory Division moves from Home Office to Department of Trade and Industry
1984 Telecommunications Bill splits GPO and creates British Telecom and Oftel
1985 Cellnet and Vodafone offer cellular phones
1986 DTI's Radio Regulatory Division becomes Radiocommunications Division
1989 Sky satellite television begins
1990 RADIOCOMMUNICATIONS AGENCYRADIOCOMMUNICATIONS AGENCY FORMED UNDER THE GOVERNMENT'S NEXT STEPS PROGRAMME
1992 Independent national radio begins with Classic FM
1992 Rabbit telepoint service begins in May
1993 First World Radiocommunication Conference and Assembly in Geneva
1993 Rabbit telepoint service ends in December
1993 Private Business Radio licensing moves from London to the regions - the start of devolved licensing
1994 Orange launches PCN services
1994 DIGITAL (GSM)CELLNET LAUNCHES DIGITAL (GSM) SERVICE
1996 White Paper on Spectrum Management into the 21st Century proposes that licences should reflect the economic value of the spectrum (see 1904)
1997 Channel 5 begins broadcasting
1997 Digital standards agreed
1998 Wireless Telegraphy Act 1998 introduces spectrum pricing based on economic value not administrative cost
1998 Digital broadcasting begins
2000 UK Third generation mobile phone auction
2000 OFCOMPLANS ANNOUNCED FOR AN OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS - OFCOM - SEE PREVIOUS PAGE
2001 THE MARCONI CENTRETHE MARCONI CENTRE OPENS AT POLDHU ON 12 DECEMBER. SPONSORS ARE THE NATIONAL TRUST, MARCONI PLC AND POLDHU AMATEUR RADIO CLUB. THE CENTRE IS PART CLUBHOUSE, PART VISITOR CENTRE. RADIOCOMMUNICATIONS AGENCY DONATES EQUIPMENT

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Contents
Introduction
Radio Crosses the Atlantic
Radio Today
Office of Communications
Radio Milestones
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