Telecom Digest was started in August, 1981 by Jon Solomon as a mailing list on the old ARPA network. It was an offshoot of the Human Nets forum intended for discussion of telephones and related communications topics.
Pat Townson moderated the Digest from 1996 until he suffered a stroke in 2007, and Bill Horne has been the Moderator/Editor/facilitator of the Digest since then. The moderator works through accounts provided by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, MA.
Telecom Digest is not strictly speaking part of Usenet. It is an official Internet mailing list publication. A decision was made at some point in the past to 'port' the Digest to the Usenet news group 'comp.dcom.telecom', in order that Usenet readers would be able to participate in the Digest. I became Moderator of comp.dcom.telecom in 2007 in addition to being Moderator of Telecom Digest. For all practical purposes, the messages in comp.dcom.telecom are identical to the messages which appear simultaneously in The Telecom Digest, although readers of The Telecom Digest have the option or receiving an actual digest, i.e., they can sign up to receive all of the posts for a single day combined in a single email.
The Telecom Digest is the oldest continuously published mailing list on the Internet.