WS47 First Telephone Exchange 1870 Gibraltar
Posted on December 16, 2015 / 605
poi type : Miscellaneous
Location :
Condition : Good

The first submarine telegraph cable was laid to Gibraltar in 1870.

At this time Gibraltar was a landing point of the long-range submarine cable that ran from Porthcurno, in the United Kingdom via Lisbon, Gibraltar, Malta, Alexandria, Suez, Aden, Bombay, and then over land to the east coast of India, then on to Penang, Malacca, Singapore, Batavia (current Jakarta), to finally reach Darwin, Australia. It was the first direct link between Australia and Great Britain. The company that laid the first part of the cable took the name of Falmouth, Gibraltar and Malta Telegraph Company and had been founded in 1869. This company later operated as the Eastern Telegraph Company from Mount Pleasant in Gibraltar and eventually became Cable & Wireless.


The first cable shed it believed to have been on Sandy Beach but is now long gone.


The first telephones were introduced to Gibraltar in 1886 by a private company which was later taken over by the colonial authorities. The first wireless message was transmitted to Gibraltar in 1903.  The first telephone exchange was at 40 Mill City Lane and there is a plaque over the doorway.

Since 1926, the telephone service was operated by the City Council. An automatic exchange was installed in the last floor of the City Hall.


On 4 April 1927, following an agreement signed between the Compañía Telefónica Nacional de España, the Spanish incumbent telecommunications operator, and the Gibraltar City Council, direct communications between Spain and Gibraltar were established.

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