After 32 years of publishing the monthly Telecommunications Newsletter in print, we have reached the end of our printed era. We were the first telecommunications newsletter to be printed in Australia but it will now only be available online, where it continues as a free weekly newsletter to some 4,000 customers, as well as a blog (2,000 readers) with daily updates.
Back in 1996, when we launched our internet-based research website – the first and largest in the world –I predicted that things would move slowly and that it would take at least ten years before a full transition would take place from paper to electronic publishing. In fact, it is now 20 years later. We continued producing the printed version for a – be it slowly – ever-declining number of subscribers, but the list has now reached such a level that it doesn’t make sense to continue the printed publication.
The history of this publication is an interesting case study in itself. We started operating our business well before the mainstream arrival of the internet. We were there when printed publications were at their peak, which was followed by the slow decline. This is obviously a development reflected in many other sectors of the publishing industry, but since we started so early with online publishing we have gained much more than we have lost.
During the peak publishing period in the late 1980’s 90% of our subscribers were from Australia; now 80% of our subscribers are from overseas. Thanks to the internet, our catchment has increased enormously but the printed version never reached more than 10% of our total number of customers.
To herald the end of this era we will embed the name of the newsletter in our weekly e-newsletter in honour of our printed heritage that started back in 1983. In this way we ensure that Australia’s oldest telecoms newsletter retains its proud role of providing insight and commentary about all the important issues in our industry. The scope however has increased and in comparison to 1983, we now also cover: smart cities, smart grids, digital media, sharing/networking economy, e-health, e-education, IoT, etc. All of these ‘smarts’ are facilitated through (tele)communication.