National brokerage firms with multiple branches were, in the past, linked by private telephone or other telecommunications networks that enabled them to transmit important news about the financial markets almost instantaneously.
Because of these lines, or wires, the firms became known as wire houses.
Although the Internet now makes it possible for all firms - and even individual investors - to have access to high-speed electronic data, the largest brokerage firms are still referred to as wire houses because of the technological edge they once enjoyed.
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- Agency, Floor broker, Wire room
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