Digital Crossroads: American Telecommunications Policy in the Internet Age / Edition 1

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Overview

With a new preface for the paperback editionTelecommunications policy profoundly affects the economy and our everyday lives. Yet accounts of important telecommunications issues tend to be either superficial (and inaccurate) or mired in jargon and technical esoterica. In Digital
Crossroads, Jonathan Nuechterlein and Philip Weiser offer a clear, balanced, and accessible analysis of competition policy issues in the telecommunications industry. After giving a big picture overview of the field, they present sharply reasoned analyses of the major technological, economic, and legal developments confronting communications policymakers in the twenty-first century.Since the passage of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, when Congress fundamentally reoriented the existing regulatory scheme, no book has cogently explained the intricacies of telecommunications competition policy in the Internet age for general readers, students, and practitioners alike. Digital
Crossroads meets this need, focusing on the regulatory dimensions of competition in wireline and wireless telephone service; competition among rival platforms for broadband Internet service and video distribution; and the Internet's transformation of every aspect of the telecommunications industry, particularly through the emergence of "voice over Internet protocol" (VoIP). The authors explain not just the complicated legal issues governing the industry, but also the rapidly changing technological and economic context in which these issues arise. The book includes extensive endnotes and tables that cover relevant court decisions, FCC orders, and academic commentaries; a glossary of acronyms; a statutory addendum containing the most important provisions of federal telecommunications law; and two appendixes with information on more specialized topics.
Supplementary materials for students are available at http://spot.colorado.edu/~weiserpj.

The MIT Press

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher

"A magnificent achievement. As someone who has been involved over the last four decades in what was once known as the 'telephone' business, I found *Digital Crossroads* an extraordinarily lucid description and explanation of the revolutionary significance of its transformation into 'telecommunications.' *Digital Crossroads* is not exactly light bedtime reading,
but for anyone attempting to grasp these changes in our digital age, it is full of clear explanations and fair-minded assessments of the continuing regulatory issues they raise. This is a marvelous book, and well worth working through from cover to cover, as I have done."--Alfred E.
Kahn, former Chairman of the New York Public Service Commission and Civil Aeronautics Board, and
Advisor to President Carter on Inflation

The MIT Press

" Digital Crossroads brings fresh clarity to a complex subject. It is thorough, comprehensive, and insightful, and will prove invaluable to anyone trying to navigate the tumultuous changes of the digital age." The Honorable Michael K. Powell

The MIT Press

" Digital Crossroads is an essential read for anyone interested in the history-making changes occurring in communications, an industry at the heart of the American economy. It lucidly explains how and why public policy must change to accommodate the Internet"s revolutionary impact on the way people communicate. This book is a long-overdue voice of insight and reason in a field too often marked by simplistic, self-serving rhetoric." Jim Crowe
, CEO, Level 3 Communications, Inc.

The MIT Press

"*Digital Crossroads* brings fresh clarity to a complex subject. It is thorough,
comprehensive, and insightful, and will prove invaluable to anyone trying to navigate the tumultuous changes of the digital age."--Michael K. Powell

The MIT Press

"*Digital Crossroads* is an essential read for anyone interested in the history-making changes occurring in communications, an industry at the heart of the American economy. It lucidly explains how and why public policy must change to accommodate the Internet's revolutionary impact on the way people communicate. This book is a long-overdue voice of insight and reason in a field too often marked by simplistic, self-serving rhetoric."--Jim Crowe, CEO, Level 3
Communications, Inc.

The MIT Press

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262640664
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 3/30/2007
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 702
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Jonathan E. Nuechterlein is chair of the telecommunications practice at the international law firm of WilmerHale. He served as Deputy General Counsel of the Federal Communications Commission from 2000 to 2001 and as Assistant to the Solicitor General from 1996 to 2000.

Philip J. Weiser is Dean of the Law School, Thompson Professor of Law and Telecommunications,
and Founder and Executive Director of the Silicon Flatirons Center for Law, Technology, and
Entrepreneurship at the University of Colorado Boulder. From 2009 to 2010, he was Deputy Assistant
Attorney General, and from 2010 to 2011, he was a Senior Adviser on Technology and Innovation at the
National Economic Council in the White House under President Obama.

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Table of Contents

1 The big picture 1
2 Introduction to wireline telecommunications 31
3 Wireline competition under the 1996 Act 69
4 A primer on Internet technology 115
5 Monopoly leveraging concerns and the Internet 149
6 VoIP and proposals for "horizontal" regulation 191
7 The spectrum 225
8 Mobile wireless services 261
9 Intercarrier compensation 291
10 Universal service in the age of competition 333
11 Competition in the delivery of television programming 357
12 Telecommunications standards, technological transitions, and digital television 385
13 The future of telecommunications policy 407
App. A The pricing of network elements 431
App. B Enforcement mechanisms under the 1996 Act 455
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