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One of the first commercial videoconferencing systems sold to companies came from Picture Tel Corp., which had an Initial Public Offering in November, 1984.
While videoconferencing technology was initially used primarily within internal corporate communication networks, one of the first community service usages of the technology started in 1992 through a unique partnership with Picture Tel and IBM Corporations which at the time were promoting a jointly developed desktop based videoconferencing product known as the PCS/1.
News media organizations have begun to use desktop technologies like Skype to provide higher-quality audio than the phone network, and video links at much lower cost than sending professional equipment or using a professional studio.
More popular videotelephony technologies use the Internet rather than the traditional landline phone network, even accounting for modern digital packetized phone network protocols, and even though videotelephony software commonly runs on smartphones.
The concept of videotelephony was first conceived in the late 1870s in both the United States and Europe, although the basic sciences to permit its very earliest trials would take nearly a half century to be discovered.
This was first embodied in the device which came to be known as the video telephone, or videophone, and it evolved from intensive research and experimentation in several telecommunication fields, notably electrical telegraphy, telephony, radio, and television.