The new telecommunications: a political economy of network evolution

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Sage, 1993 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 260 pages
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In contemporary societies telecommunication plays an increasingly central role. The move from analogue to digital switching and transmission technologies has transformed the technical capacity of telecommunication, enabling the creation of intelligent networks that can do far more than simply convey messages. Access to electronic communication networks is becoming a major determinant of the ways in which individuals, groups and firms participate in economic, political, social and cultural life. In this broad-ranging analysis, Robin Mansell assesses the dynamics of change in the electronic communication environment. Her investigation encompasses the political, economic and technical factors contributing to the future of telecommunication networks. She explores the consequences of policy decisions and design choices in the creation of intelligent networks. At the same time, she demonstrates how both policies and technical aspects are themselves shaped by actors in the telecommunications sector, including governments, public telecommunication operators and their competitors, equipment manufacturers, and large users of public and private telecommunication networks. Outlining developments in the industry in the late 1980s and 1990s in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Sweden, the author shows how new technical, institutional and market arrangements are reshaping the terms and conditions of network access, with ultimate effects on participation in the 'networked economy'. This major overview of the direction of change in the new telecommunications will be essential reading for scholars and advanced students of communication studies and of science and technology policy and will be of interest to those wishing to understand the evolution of the electronic communication environment.

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Intelligence and Flexibility for Whom?
Challenges for Policy and Regulation

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About the author (1993)

Robin Mansell is Professor of New Media and the Internet in the Department of Media and Communications, London School of Economics and Political Science. She is internationally known for her work on the social, economic, and technical issues arising from new technologies, especially in the computer
and telecommunication industries. Her research examines the integration of new technologies into society, the interaction between engineering design and the structure of markets, and the sources of regulatory effectiveness and failure. She has contributed to policy discussion and formulation for the
liberalization of the telecommunication sector, the development of electronic commerce, the governance of universal access, and developing country responses to globalization. She serves as and academic governor of the London School of Economics, as a Trustee of the Institute of Development Studies,
Sussex, and is President of IAMCR (International Association for Media and Communications Research) 2004-2008. Chrisanthi Avgerou is Professor of Information Systems at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Her main interests concern the relationship of IT to organizational change
and the role of IT in socio-economic development. She is chairperson of the IFIP Technical Committee 9 on Social Implications of Information Technology and she chaired the IFIP WG 9.4 group on computers in developing countries from 1996 till 2003. Among her recent publications are Information
Systems and Global Diversity, and The Social Study of Information and Communication Technology: Innovation, Actors, and Contexts.
Danny Quah is Professor of Economics at the London School ofEconomics and Political Science. His work is concerned with economic growth, income inequality, new technology, intellectual assets, information technology and the weightless economy.
Roger Silverstone was Professor of Media and Communications at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Previous publications include Media, Technology and Everyday Life in Europe (Ashgate, 2005) and Why Study the Media? (Sage, 1999).

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