News & Insight

World Telecoms Day: what it means at XLN

Jack Stratten

A bit of history behind this lesser-known celebration

There's a day for everything isn't there?

Among others, there's a National Lost Sock Memorial Day in the US, an International Talk Like A Pirate Day, and of course the international Ice Cream For Breakfast Day. These are all real - and there are hundreds of other obscure celebrations for weird and wonderful interests.

But actually, World Telecoms Day – celebrated on 17th May - has real history and meaning.

A historic celebration

World Telecoms Day has been celebrated annually on 17th May since 1969.

It's directly linked to the founding of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) within the UN in 1865, which initially set out to connect telegraphic networks between different countries.

The ITU has evolved greatly over the last 150 years, as has the technology it promotes. And today World Telecoms Day is all about celebrating and promoting the critical role that modern digital telecoms play in transforming societies for the better.

Solving the digital divide

Remarkably, nearly half of the world's population still isn't connected to the internet.

While more than 80% of Europe's population are internet users, less than 30% of Africa's are, for example. Given the role that digital telecoms play in helping economies to grow, it's clear that there's a digital divide that must be solved.

It's a reminder for us all to appreciate the minor miracles that we take for granted in our everyday lives. And perhaps something to think about the next time we stare furiously at our blinking routers wondering why something isn't downloading as quickly as we'd like.

What it means for XLN

When XLN was founded nearly 20 years ago, it was the only UK telecoms business focused entirely on supporting small businesses.

We wanted to offer small businesses the opportunities that cutting-edge telecoms technology provided, but at a price tag they could afford and with the service they deserved.

That mission continues today, and is the driving force behind some of our newest telecoms products. Because even within the UK there's a digital divide between bigger and smaller businesses.

So, while World Telecoms Day might not be written into your calendar, it does have real meaning for us at XLN.