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This contribution to the history column of IEEE Signal Processing Magazine aims to give a selected sample of work and flavor of thinking in an era more than 30 years ago, when formative notions were being established and explored for packet transmission of speech. The exposition is parochial in that it relates to only one sector of activity; namely, that motivated by telecommunications research. Since that time, enormous advances have been made, technologies refined, methods modified, and capabilities expanded. The hope is that such a snapshot, albeit only from the author's perspective, contributes to expectations for the future.