Detail map of Brooklyn, New York, United States,San Francisco, California, United States

A: Brooklyn, New York, United States, B: San Francisco, California, United States

The Pacific Telegraph Act of 1860, Subsidizing the Transcontinental Telegraph, Founds Network Neutrality

6/16/1860
<div class="mw-mmv-above-fold">
<p class="mw-mmv-title-para mw-mmv-ttf-container mw-mmv-ttf-normal"><span class="mw-mmv-title">Construction of the first Transcontinental Telegraph, with a Pony Express rider passing below.&nbsp;</span>Wood engraving after George M. Ottinger (d. 1919). The transcontinental telegraph did not make the Pony Express redundant because of the high costs of sending a telegram over a long distance, but the transcontinental railroad, completed in 1861, made it far cheaper and faster to send mail over the distance in which the Pony Express briefly operated.</p>
</div>

Construction of the first Transcontinental Telegraph, with a Pony Express rider passing below. Wood engraving after George M. Ottinger (d. 1919). The transcontinental telegraph did not make the Pony Express redundant because of the high costs of sending a telegram over a long distance, but the transcontinental railroad, completed in 1861, made it far cheaper and faster to send mail over the distance in which the Pony Express briefly operated.

The U.S. Federal Pacific Telegraph Act of 1860, passed June 16, 1860 to subsidize a telegraph line that would complete telegraphic communication between the east and west coast of the United States, incorporated one of the earliest statements of network neutrality: 

"messages received from any individual, company, or corporation, or from any telegraph lines connecting with this line at either of its termini, shall be impartially transmitted in the order of their reception, excepting that the dispatches of the government shall have priority. . ." (Wikipedia article on Network neutrality, accessed 12-24-2010).

Timeline Themes