Spending on information and communications technology in 2005 Information and communications technology or information and communication technology, usually called ICT, is often used as an extended synonym for information technology (IT) but is usually a more general term that stresses the role of unified communications and the integration of telecommunications (telephone lines and wireless signals), intelligent building management systems and audio-visual systems in modern information technology.
ICT consists of all technical means used to handle information and aid communication, including computer and network hardware, communication middleware as well as necessary software. In other words, ICT consists of IT as well as telephony, broadcast media, all types of audio and video processing and transmission and network based control and monitoring functions.
The expression was first used in 1997 in a report by Dennis Stevenson to the UK government and promoted by the new National Curriculum documents for the UK in 2000. ICT is often used in the context of "ICT roadmap" to indicate the path that an organization will take with their ICT needs.  The term ICT is now also used to refer to the merging (convergence) of audio-visual and telephone networks with computer networks through a single cabling or link system.
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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. See VOIP and Intelligent Infrastructure Management (IIM). This in turn has spurred the growth of organizations with the term ICT in their names to indicate their specialization in the process of merging the different network systems.
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