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How the World Became Smaller Through Communications

The key to turning the world into a global village is great communication.  The easier it is to communicate and share information with someone else, the further away from you they can be.  As long as you can pass your ideas and thoughts on with ease, it doesn’t matter whether they are living in the next street, the next town, a different continent, or geometrically on the other side of the world from you.

Communications didn’t used to be quite so easy.  The term ‘Marathon’ is coined from an incident in 490 BC when Greek messenger Pheidippides was sent by the generals from the battlefield of Marathon to Athens to proclaim “we won”, only then to die from exhaustion!  Communications at the time had to be face to face as there was no alternative, and so runners were employed to pass messages and orders back and forth from governments to battle commanders, and an Olympic sport grew from it.

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Radio and telegraphic communications made life a whole lot easier, and mans’ love of technology ensured that it didn’t end there.  Television paved the way for video communications between parties and the onset of relatively cheap satellite communications meant that you could contact anyone in the world with some ease and little expense.

Nowadays businesses want more from its communications and in addition to excellent and swift world-wide contact, companies want them ultra-secure.  It is a sad testament to human existence that whenever someone invents something new, there are those who will seek to break it, and in many cases, it’s just for the sheer joy of doing it.  The internet is awash with electronic viruses that seek to disable computers or steal information.  Add to this the possibility of government and big-business sponsored snooping and you have a need for increasingly complex communications methods and security algorithms.

Communications is useless if you can’t send or receive your potentially secret data securely.  Much of the information passed between companies is confidential and could be of interest to their rivals; Governments thrive of secret information and many people try to gain those secrets.  All of this means that any information passed via email or over the phone or video conference must be secure and able to be opened by the intended recipient only.

The world of communications is now moving into other areas of business too.  Vehicle tracking and recognition is also a part of many businesses with companies wanting to ensure that their vehicles are on time to deliveries or, mostly in the field of banking and the movement of valuables, that vehicles are unmolested during their journey.  Communications is also key to moving stock around large warehouses and tracking customer baggage around major airports.   

Many companies now offer whole solutions to a business communications needs from international information exchange through cloud computing and on to mobile business solutions.

The world is, from a communications point of view, now much smaller than in Pheidippides time, but no less dangerous.

By Roft Mark

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