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For more than 80 years the telecommunications industry has been working to bring the art of transmission and switching to the point where it could provide top quality service to everybody over a big, reliable, basic network, and do it well. This basic goal has been largely achieved, but the job is never complete: customers' sights keep rising; communication is increasingly important to the national economy; the industry itself must continue to grow in order to stay healthy and vigorous. This means constantly improving the basic instruments of communication, providing a great variety of service options, and staying abreast of consumers' changing tastes and purchasing habits. Data communication, electronic switching, Touchtone calling, communications satellites, etc., are helping to achieve these ends. Continued success depends upon the industry's own creative ability and the degree of freedom it is accorded by the governmental agencies which regulate its activities.