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Definition: ITU

(International Telecommunication Union, Geneva, Switzerland) A telecommunications standards body that is under the auspices of the United Nations. Comprising more than 185 member countries, the ITU sets standards for global telecom networks. The ITU's Telecommunications division (ITU-T) produces more than 200 standards recommendations each year in the converging areas of telecommunications, information technology, consumer electronics, broadcasting and multimedia communications. In 1992, the ITU was streamlined into the following three sectors:

ITU-D (Telecommunication Development)
ITU-R (Radiocommunication)
ITU-T (Telecommunication Standardization)

A Lot of History: CCIT, CCIF, CCIR and CCITT
The International Telegraph Union was founded in 1865 to promote the electric telegraph, which was invented in 1837. During the next 55 years, the telegraph flourished, and telephone and radio were pioneered. In the 1920s, three "Consultative Committees" were created: CCIT in 1924 for International Telegraph; CCIF in 1925 for International Telephone, and CCIR in 1927 for International Radio. In 1932, the word Telegraph was changed to Telecommunication in the ITU name.

In 1956, CCIF and CCIT combined into CCITT (International Telephony and Telegraphy), which subsequenlty became ITU-T in 1992. CCIR and the International Frequency Registration Board (IFRB) were turned into ITU-R, and the Telecommunications Development Bureau became ITU-D.