World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD) on May 17th

A phone showing messages including "we're here to help" indicating "World Telecommunications Day"

Communication tech has been evolving so fast, it makes sense to step back, take stock, and celebrate our giant strides on the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day. 

We know–it’s quite a mouthful! 

Let’s call it WTISD (just to keep things simple) as we tell you the story behind this special day. 

What is World Telecommunication Day?

World Telecommunications Day was designed to celebrate leaps in telecommunication technology. Each year, WTISD is assigned a different theme related to telecommunications. This year, WTISD will celebrate “empowering the least developed countries through information and communication technologies”.

ITU, the founder of this day, calls for public and private sectors to help support the least developed countries in fulfilling the UN Sustainable Development goals by 20301

How did World Telecommunication Day start?

WTISD was founded on May 17th in 1969 by the ITU. This day was picked to commemorate the first signing of the International Telegraph Convention, nearly 100 years before. 

For almost forty years, May 17th was just known as the World Telecommunications Day–until November 2005. In 2005, the World Summit on Information Society had the UN General Assembly officially declare May 17th as the World Information Society Day. From that moment, May 17th was dubbed World Telecommunication and Information Society Day–though it wasn’t until March 2006 that the UN General Assembly decided that WTISD would occur annually. 

Why was WTISD founded?

WTISD was founded to help spread awareness about the powers of telecommunication. The ultimate goal of this day is to bridge the gap between societies, countries, and even generations with technology. Be that by supporting developing countries and providing internet connectivity, or educating others on how to build smarter cities—the theme of this day changes yearly. In 2022, for example, the focus was on educating aging people on how to use telecommunications. 

What’s the best way to celebrate World Telecommunication and Information Society Day?

There are a lot of different ways you can celebrate WTISD! 

Consider paying tribute to those who have made the biggest difference in the telecommunications industry. Speak of them to your friends or family, or educate others through social media. 

How you celebrate can vary enormously though. You can even do something as simple as texting a friend you haven’t seen in a while—remember, telecommunications enabled you to do that! 

Telecommunications has changed so much over the last 50 years. From the time the first ever text message was sent (which said “Merry Christmas”, by the way), to the first phone call made. It makes us excited for what the future of telecommunications will bring. 

Want to learn more about what the growing telecommunications landscape can do for your company?