When Wire Was King: The Transformation of Telecommunications

When Wire Was King is a documentary that puts the telecommunications revolution into historical context. Commerce, technology, entertainment, travel, health, and all societal interaction are now so dependent on secure and reliable telecommunications that, if the plug were pulled, our nation and world would likely collapse. As our digital world grows increasingly complex, it’s critically important for Americans to understand what drives, threatens, and governs the technology on which we all depend.

When Wire Was King explores three interconnected themes – innovation, competition, and regulation – and the shifting balance among the three that sparked the telecommunications revolution, beginning in the early 1970s. The liberalization of regulations and opening of the telecommunications market covering satellite, cable, wireless, and telephony led to an explosion of innovation that brought us the Internet and wireless. 

When Wire Was King is a visual journey through our telecommunications history, using archival photos, footage, newscasts, advertising, and entertainment clips to transport viewers. The film captures the story of this revolution through the voices of key players still with us today – innovators, economists, policy makers, industry executives, and Congressional leaders.

The version shown at the Theatre will be a 55-minute film, not the feature length film Here is the trailer: https://www.whenwirewasking.com/trailer.html

The event is free. It is co-sponsored by Rapp at Home.


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Washington, VA 22747


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