Development of Communication Technology

By Zachary Fenell

The development of communication technology, technology which enables communication, has evolved over time. This evolution has had a significant historical impact; from the invention of the telegraph, which played a crucial role in the French Revolution, to the firefighters who came in on their days off after seeing the World Trade Center towers attacked on television in 2001.

Early Communications

Early forms of communication included runners, homing pigeons and smoke signals. The rise of communication technology came to make communication faster, more accessible and more efficient.

Printed Communication

Written communication thrived off of advancing technology, such as the invention of paper and the printing press. Ironically, continual advancement has lowered the need for printed publications, including newspapers and books.


The concept of television developed from the idea of being able to see a person while interacting with her on the phone. As of 2009, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) hopes that one day television will become an interactive form of electronic communication.


The Internet blossomed out of a 1967 study of Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPANET) conducted by the United States Department of Defense. Internet-based electronic communication includes email, instant messages and social networking websites.

Wireless Communication

Radio technology is the basis of wireless communication. Wireless communication uses radio frequencies to function.


As communication technology evolved the need for regulation grew. Founded in 1934, the FCC regulates communication technology, including radio and television.