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Simultaneity, programming of flow in established hours, capacity of reaching users in their homes: all of the defining characteristics of broadcasting were already present in circular telephony.

According to an ingenious explanation, the affirmation of broadcasting at the expense of circular telephony is due to its “technical superiority”: the radio, a means that uses the air, would be more suitable for diffusing public messages, while the telephone that uses wires would be better suited for private ones. Recent developments in cellular telephony on the one hand, and cable television on the other, controvert this theory, even if it seems improbable that the hypothesis put forth by the American Nicholas Negroponte be confirmed, whereof cable should become the means for mass communications, and air the means for personal ones.

The reasons which steered the Marconian technology between 1918-25 into becoming nearly the sole protagonist in broadcasting were mostly of economic and organizational nature. The diffusion of circular telephony required considerable time and had to face the high costs of the extension of the telephone's physical network, while the radio could skip them. Moreover, telephone companies did not appear particularly interested in this kind of service, extraneous to their organizational models, while European countries instead came out of the First World War resolute in promoting the new radiotelephony technology.


















Emile Girardeaugirardeau

Marconi believed in short waves before anyone else, before the experts, before the amateurs; and he never stopped dedicating himself to them even while others continued to pay no attention.



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