Communications Policy and Information Technology: Promises, Problems, Prospects

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New technologies, although developed with optimism, often fall short of their predicted potential and create new problems. Communications technologies are no different. Their utopian proponents claim that universal access to advanced communications technologies can help to feed the hungry, cure the sick, educate the illiterate, improve the global standard of living, and ultimately bring about world peace. The sobering reality is that while communications technologies have a role to play in making the world a better place, the impact of any specific technological advance is likely to be modest.The limitations of new technologies are often not inherent in the technologies themselves but the result of regulatory or economic constraints. While the capability may exist to deliver any information anywhere in the world, many people lack the money to pay for it, the equipment to access it, the skills to use it, or even the knowledge that it might be useful to them. This book examines the complex ways in which communication technologies and policies affect the people whose lives they are intended to improve. The areas of discussion include Internet regulation, electronic voting and petitioning, monopoly and competition in communications markets,
the future of wireless communications, and the concept of universal service.

The MIT Press

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Lorrie Faith Cranor is a Principal Technical Staff Member in the Secure Systems Research
Department at AT&T Labs-Research.

Shane Greenstein is Elinor and Wendall Hobbs Professor of Management and Strategy at the
Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University.

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Table of Contents

1 ICANN, "Internet Stability," and the New Top Level Domains 3
2 ENUM: The Collision of Telephony and DNS Policy 25
3 On Target? The Shifting Standards for Determining Internet Jurisdiction 65
4 Security Considerations for Remote Electronic Voting over the Internet 105
5 Signing Initiative Petitions Online: Possibilities, Problems, and Prospects 119
6 Efficient Choice, Inefficient Democracy? The Implications of Cable and Internet Access for Political Knowledge and Voter Turnout 143
7 Assessing the Effectiveness of Section 271 Five Years after the Telecommunications Act of 1996 183
8 A Competitive Analysis of International Long Distance Calling 217
9 Ownership Concentration and Product Variety in Daily Newspaper Markets 235
10 Best Effort versus Spectrum Markets: 802.11 versus 3G? 255
11 Property Rights, Flexible Spectrum Use, and Satellite v. Terrestrial Uses and Users 277
12 Stronger than Barbed Wire: How Geo-Policy Barriers Construct Rural Internet Access 299
13 Telecommunications and Rural Economies: Findings from the Appalachian Region 317
14 Universal Service in Times of Reform: Affordability and Accessibility of Telecommunication Services in Latin America 347
15 Bringing the Internet to Schools: The U.S. and E.U. Policies 383
Index 401
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