The Second Information Revolution / Edition 1

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Overview

Thanks to inexpensive computers and data communications, the speed and volume of human communication are exponentially greater than they were even a quarter-century ago. Not since the advent of the telephone and telegraph in the nineteenth century has information technology changed daily life so radically. We are in the midst of what Gerald Brock calls a second information revolution.

Brock traces the complex history of this revolution, from its roots in World War II through the bursting bubble of the Internet economy. As he explains, the revolution sprang from an interdependent series of technological advances, entrepreneurial innovations, and changes to public policy. Innovations in radar, computers, and electronic components for defense projects translated into rapid expansion in the private sector, but some opportunities were blocked by regulatory policies. The contentious political effort to accommodate new technology while protecting beneficiaries of the earlier regulated monopoly eventually resulted in a regulatory structure that facilitated the explosive growth in data communications. Brock synthesizes these complex factors into a readable economic history of the wholesale transformation of the way we exchange and process information.

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Editorial Reviews

Times Higher Education Supplement

The Second Information Revolution is important reading for anyone who needs to understand the functioning of American telecommunications, either to be able to analyse today's financial markets or to understand or influence public policy in this area.
— Wendy M. Grossman

Choice

Brock traces a phenomenon he refers to as the 'second information revolution.' According to Brock, there have been two times in history when information technology has dramatically changed daily life. The first 'information revolution' occurred with the advent of the telephone and telegraph, which made communication less expensive and more readily available. The second information revolution is currently in progress...A concise, thorough, and well-written history of the transformation in exchanging and processing of information.
— K. A. Coombs

Times Higher Education Supplement - Wendy M. Grossman
The Second Information Revolution is important reading for anyone who needs to understand the functioning of American telecommunications, either to be able to analyse today's financial markets or to understand or influence public policy in this area.
Choice - K. A. Coombs
Brock traces a phenomenon he refers to as the 'second information revolution.' According to Brock, there have been two times in history when information technology has dramatically changed daily life. The first 'information revolution' occurred with the advent of the telephone and telegraph, which made communication less expensive and more readily available. The second information revolution is currently in progress...A concise, thorough, and well-written history of the transformation in exchanging and processing of information.
Choice
Brock traces a phenomenon he refers to as the 'second information revolution.' According to Brock, there have been two times in history when information technology has dramatically changed daily life. The first 'information revolution' occurred with the advent of the telephone and telegraph, which made communication less expensive and more readily available. The second information revolution is currently in progress...A concise, thorough, and well-written history of the transformation in exchanging and processing of information.
— K. A. Coombs
Times Higher Education Supplement
The Second Information Revolution is important reading for anyone who needs to understand the functioning of American telecommunications, either to be able to analyse today's financial markets or to understand or influence public policy in this area.
— Wendy M. Grossman
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674011786
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 9/25/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 6.58 (w) x 9.32 (h) x 0.93 (d)

Meet the Author

Gerald W. Brock is Professor of Telecommunication and Director of the Graduate Telecommunication Program at George Washington University, and was previously Common Carrier Bureau Chief at the Federal Communications Commission.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Abbreviations

1. Introduction

The Promise of Regulation

Conceptual Framework

2. The First Information Revolution

The Development of Telegraph Services

The Telephone and State Regulation

Radio and Federal Regulation

3. Technological Origins of the Second Information Revolution, 1940-1950

Radar

The Transistor

Electronic Digital Computers

4. The SAGE Project

I. THE SEPARATE WORLDS OF COMPUTERS AND COMMUNICATIONS, 1950-1968

5. The Early Semiconductor Industry

The Creation of a Competitive Market

Innovation and the Integrated Circuit

Falling Prices, Rising Output

6. The Early Commercial Computer Industry

Vacuum-Tube and Transistor Computers

The System/360 and IBM Dominance

Alternatives to IBM Computers

7. The Regulated Monopoly Telephone Industry

Antitrust and the 1956 Consent Decree

Microwave Technology and Potential Long Distance Competition

Central Office Switches

Terminal Equipment

II. BOUNDARY DISPUTES AND LIMITED COMPETITION, 1969-1984

8. Data Communications

Packet-Switching and the Arpanet

Network Protocols and Interconnection

Local Area Networks and Ethernet

9. From Mainframes to Microprocessors

Intel and the Microprocessor

Personal Computers and Workstations

10. The Computer-Communications Boundary

Computer-Assisted Messages: Communications or Data Processing?

Smart Terminals: Teletypewriters or Computers?

Interconnection of Customer-Owned Equipment with the Telephone Network

The Deregulation of Terminal Equipment

The Deregulation of Enhanced Services

11. Fringe Competition in Long Distance Telephone Service

Competition in Specialized Services

Competition in Switched Services

The Transition to Optical Fiber

12. Divestiture and Access Charges

The Divestiture

Access Charges

The Enhanced Service Provider Exemption

III. INTERCONNECTED COMPETITION AND INTEGRATED SERVICES, 1985-2002

13. Mobile Telephones and Spectrum Reform

Early Land Mobile Telephones

Cellular Spectrum Allocation

Cellular Licensing Problems

Spectrum Institutional Reform

PCS and Auctions

14. Local Competition and the Telecommunications Act of 1996

Competitive Access Providers

Interconnection: CAP to CLEC

The Telecommunications Act of 1996

Implementation of the Telecommunications Act of 1996

15. The Internet and the World Wide Web

The Commercial Internet and Backbone Interconnection

The Development of the Web

The New Economy Financial Boom and Bust

Real Growth in Telecommunication and Price Benefits

16. Conclusion

Technological Progress and Policy Evolution

The Process of Institutional Change

Final Comment

References

Index

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