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The Overseas Telecommunications Commission (OTC) was established by an Act of Parliament in August 1946. It inherited facilities and resources from Amalgamated Wireless Australasia Limited (AWA) and Cable & Wireless, and was charged with responsibility for all international telecommunications services into, through and out of Australia.

On 1 February 1992 it was merged with Australia’s domestic telecommunications carrier, the Australian Telecommunications Corporation Limited (“Telecom”) to create the Australian and Overseas Telecommunications Corporation Limited (AOTC). The new organisation underwent a corporate identity review and was subsequently renamed Telstra Corporation Limited (“Telstra”).

When first established in 1946, OTC inherited facilities which had been depleted during World War II, and faced rising costs and falling profits. From this tenuous beginning, the organisation was to grow over the years to gain world standing on the international telecommunications stage.

Throughout rapid developments in undersea cable networks, global satellite systems and burgeoning digital technologies, OTC maintained a keen watch over its services to ensure continued quality. It also maintained and developed its links with maritime services, one of the initial arms of Australia’s international telecommunications network.

References

Information sources: OTC annual reports (Australian state and national libraries, OTC Australia Archive, Telstra Archive), OTC magazine Transit, (Australian state and national libraries, OTC Australia Archive, Telstra Archive).

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