Sometimes when I am talking with clients during one of my seminars or over a meal, they ask me who the ITU is and why they should care. That’s why I decided to dedicate a few minutes to answering their questions. Here you will find out who the ITU is, when it was found, its original name, where it’s headquarters is, and why you should care.
Who is the ITU?
The acronym ITU stands for International Telecommunication Union, but the original name was International Telegraph Union and it was founded in Paris long ago in 1865. Before 1992, one of its sectors was once known as CCIR (from its French name Comit© consultatif international des radiocommunications). According to Wikipedia, the ITU is the second-oldest international organization still in existence (the oldest being the Rhine Commission), established to standardize and regulate international radio and telecommunications.
The ITU’s headquarters on a rainy day in Geneva. Photo courtesy of Yann Forget, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.5, Attribution ShareAlike 2.0 and Attribution ShareAlike 1.0 License. The two women walking with umbrellas in the foreground of Yann’s photo are unknown to Allan T©pper, but are welcome to comment below this article!
What about ITU’s standards and how recognized are they?
Wikipedia has the following comment:
The international standards that are produced by the ITU are referred to as Recommendations (with the word ordinarily capitalized to distinguish its meaning from the ordinary sense of the word). Due to its longevity as an international organization and its status as a specialized agency of the United Nations, standards promulgated by the ITU carry a higher degree of formal international recognition than those of most other organizations that publish technical specifications of a similar form.
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