Philadelphia's journey into the world of telecommunications began in 1877, when Thomas E. Cornish, a distributor of electronic supplies, was asked by Pennsylvania Railroad President Thomas A. Scott to found the Philadelphia Telephone Company. This company was soon taken over by Bell Telephone Company of Philadelphia, which established its first headquarters on Fourth and Chestnut Streets in 1879. In 1907, the company changed its name to The Bell Telephone Company of Pennsylvania and started to expand.
The 1950s marked a revolutionary period for telecommunications, as transistor technology and the semiconductor industry enabled significant advances in telecommunications technology, caused the cost of telecommunications services to decrease drastically, and facilitated the transition from state-owned narrowband circuit switching networks to private broadband packet switching networks. This period is known as the era of semiconductors. Telephone companies that called the region home helped Philadelphia become a hub for business and telecommunications innovation. Until 1969, the United States telecommunications industry was a monopoly under the control of AT&T and its seven regional Bell companies. The evolution of telecommunications in Philadelphia has been remarkable. From its humble beginnings in 1877 to its current status as a leader in business and telecommunications innovation, Philadelphia has come a long way.
The city's journey into the world of telecommunications has been nothing short of revolutionary.