Fax Technology Primer

In 1968 the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the international standards body for telecommunications, published the standard for Group 1 fax; in 1976 it published Group 2; in 1980 it first published the T.30 Group 3 fax recommendation. Although it has had several addenda, the basic recommendation is still in use today, and it remains one of the most-used computer-to-computer protocols ever published. In 1998 the ITU T.38 recommendation was approved. It specifies the messages and their formats to use when relaying a PSTN-originated fax across an IP network in real time. Moreover, when coupled with a T.30 protocol engine, T.38 can be used to terminate an IP fax. This means T.38 can be configured as a functional peer to fax modems in terminating-fax applications.

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