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Line Installers and Cable Splicers

History

The occupation of line installers and cable splicers is related to major developments in electromagnetic technology since the late 19th century. The roots of this technology are traced to 1831, when Michael Faraday discovered electric induction. In the late 1880s came the invention and patents for the incandescent lamp, and by the turn of the century electric lighting was a common phenomenon throughout urban areas.

The generation of electricity took on further commercial significance as the telecommunications industry was born after Alexander Graham Bell's patent of the telephone in 1876. During the first quarter of the 20th century, the electronics industry focused on communications and broadcast entertainment. As the need developed for more and more telephone lines to connect distant points throughout the country, line installers and cable splicers were trained and employed to construct and maintain these lines.

After World War II, the television started to become a common addition in homes around the country. In the 1950s, cable television systems were designed for better reception of network broadcasts in remote areas, and by the 1970s such systems were becoming familiar to residential viewers. Extensive construction of cable systems begun during the 1980s to provide service to people in all geographic regions. In the 1990s, many cable television companies started to use fiber optics for new systems and to upgrade existing systems. Fiber optic technology increases network capacity, or bandwidth, thus allowing more channels to subscribers, and allows for higher-quality sound and video reception.

Today, telecommunications companies are using advanced technologies to modernize their equipment and build new telecommunications systems that allow voice, data, and video transmissions over the same lines. This is expected to generate increased construction activity during the 21st century; however, it is uncertain how many jobs will be generated from the expected boom, as much of the new equipment is maintenance-free and requires far fewer workers in terms of repairs and upkeep.

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