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1921 __ First broadcast concert in New Zealand
Comment : New Zealand's first broadcast concert was transmitted from the physics laboratories of Otago University on 17 November 1921 by Professor Robert Jack. He transmitted the first of a series of concerts that included live music and gramophone recordings. His transmissions were heard as far afield as Auckland. ("Taming the lightning a New Zealand perspective - Milestones a New Zealand timeline of communications and computing", A living document compiled by Keith Newman)New Zealand’s first broadcast concert was transmitted from the physics laboratories of Otago University on 17 November 1921 by Professor Robert Jack. He transmitted the first of a series of concerts that included live music and gramophone recordings, heard as far afield as Auckland. He had told the Otago Daily Times in August 1921: “Wireless telephony will develop rapidly along its own special lines and will tend greatly to strengthen the bonds by which a civilised community is held together and formed into an organised whole. It will give wider publicity to all news of public interest, to speeches and entertainments and will thus tend to bring country settlers into close touch with the life of the town… the life of each community will be broadened and educated by being brought into more effective touch with the life of the whole world. No country stands to benefit more than New Zealand by having the disadvantage of isolation removed.” Jack, who had had been working on radio at the university since before World War I, suggested that in the future all radio stations would be equipped with radio loudspeakers, so that people could attend a radio concert in the same way that they went to the theatre. His broadcast was finally allowed after a long battle with an unsympathetic Post Office bureaucracy. In 1920 the university authorised him to buy the basic gear, mostly war surplus equipment, to build a transmitter. By April 1921 he had it working well enough to be granted a provisional radio permit by the Post Office, with one ridiculous proviso: they had permission to receive but not to send. He envisioned monthly concerts where New Zealanders could hear the best of what was available. However the Post Office feared such transmissions might interfere with communications between shipping. He eventually persuaded the Post Office that the distance between his transmitter and those used by shipping at Invercargill was safe for experimentation and was eventually given a permit but had to reapply, submitting his programme for approval, each time he planned to broadcast. In 1922 Jack founded the Otago Radio Association, which became known as 4XD. Refusing to be absorbed into the state system, it lived on to become the oldest broadcasting station in the Commonwealth and among the oldest in the world. (Keith Newman, " Connecting the Clouds - the Internet in New Zealand ", InternetNZ the Internet Society of New Zealand Inc, Activity Press, 2008)
Urls : http://www.wordworx.co.nz/KiwitelcoTimeline.htm (last visited ) http://nethistory.org.nz/index.php/Chapter_1_-_The_Tyranny_of_Distance_-_Reaching_out_to_the_World (last visited )

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