Information and communications technology
Information and Communications Technology or (ICT), is often used as an extended synonym for information technology (IT), but is a more specific term that stresses the role of unified communications and the integration of telecommunications (telephone lines and wireless signals), computers as well as necessary enterprise software, middleware, storage, and audio-visual systems, which enable users to access, store, transmit, and manipulate information.
The phrase ICT had been used by academic researchers since the 1980s, but it became popular after it was used in a report to the UK government by Dennis Stevenson in 1997 and in the revised National Curriculum for England, Wales and Northern Ireland in 2000.
The term ICT is now also used to refer to the convergence of audio-visual and telephone networks with computer networks through a single cabling or link system. There are large economic incentives (huge cost savings due to elimination of the telephone network) to merge the audio-visual, building management and telephone network with the computer network system using a single unified system of cabling, signal distribution and management.
The term Infocommunications is used in some cases as a shorter form of information and communication(s) technology. In fact Infocommunications is the expansion of telecommunications with information processing and content handling functions on a common digital technology base. For a comparison of these and other terms, see.
Technological capacity of ICT 
The world's technological capacity to store information grew from 2.6 (optimally compressed) exabytes in 1986 to 15.8 in 1993, over 54.5 in 2000, and to 295 (optimally compressed) exabytes in 2007. This is the informational equivalent to 404 billion CD-ROM in 2007. Piling them up would create a stack from the earth to the moon and a quarter of this distance beyond (with 1.2 mm thickness per CD). The world’s technological capacity to receive information through one-way broadcast networks was 432 exabytes of (optimally compressed) information in 1986, 715 (optimally compressed) exabytes in 1993, 1.2 (optimally compressed) zettabytes in 2000, and 1.9 zettabytes in 2007. The world's effective capacity to exchange information through two-way telecommunication networks was 281 petabytes of (optimally compressed) information in 1986, 471 petabytes in 1993, 2.2 (optimally compressed) exabytes in 2000, and 65 (optimally compressed) exabytes in 2007. The world's technological capacity to compute information with humanly guided general-purpose computers grew from 3.0 × 10^8 MIPS in 1986, to 6.4 x 10^12 MIPS in 2007.
See also 
- Global e-Schools and Communities Initiative
- ICT Development Index
- Cognitive infocommunications
- Information Age
- Information and communication technologies for development
- Information and communication technologies for environmental sustainability
- Market information systems
- Mobile Web
- Cloud network architecture and ICT - Unified communication(UC) technologies, integration of telecommunications, computers, middleware and the data systems that support, store and transmit UC communications between systems.
- William Melody et al., Information and Communication Technologies: Social Sciences Research and Training: A Report by the ESRC Programme on Information and Communication Technologies, ISBN 0-86226-179-1, 1986. Roger Silverstone et al., "Listening to a long conversation: an ethnographic approach to the study of information and communication technologies in the home", Cultural Studies, 5(2), pages 204-227, 1991.
- The Independent ICT in Schools Commission, Information and Communications Technology in UK Schools: An Independent Inquiry, 1997. Impact noted in Jim Kelly, What the Web is Doing for Schools, Financial Times, 2000.
- Sallai, Gy.: Defining Infocommunications and Related Terms. Acta Polytechnica Hungarica, Vol. 9, No. 6, 2012. pp. 5-15. http://www.uni-obuda.hu/journal/Sallai_38.pdf
- "The World’s Technological Capacity to Store, Communicate, and Compute Information", Martin Hilbert and Priscila López (2011), Science (journal), 332(6025), 60-65; see also "free access to the study" and "video animation".
Further reading 
- Caperna A., Integrating ICT into Sustainable Local Policies. ISBN13:9781615209293
- Carnoy, Martin. "ICT in Education: Possibilities and Challenges." Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, 2005.
- "Good Practice in Information and Communication Technology for Education." Asian Development Bank, 2009.
- Grossman, G. and E. Helpman (2005), "Outsourcing in a global economy", Review of Economic Studies 72: 135-159.
- Oliver, Ron. "The Role of ICT in Higher Education for the 21st Century: ICT as a Change Agent for Education." University, Perth, Western Australia, 2002.
- Walter Ong, Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the Word (London, UK: Routledge, 1988), in particular Chapter 4
- Measuring the Information Society: The ICT Development Index. International Telecommunication Union. 2009. p. 108. ISBN 92-61-12831-9.