The Telecommunications Industry

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The telephone used to be a luxury item. Today, 95% of Americans have telephone service, and many carry their phones wherever they go. Few inventions have contributed more to modern culture and society than the telephone, yet almost no one recognized the true potential upon its introduction. This book presents the development of the telephone from its invention in 1875 to the present day. Over the course of the 20th century, the interactions between corporate, technological, and legislative and judicial factors determined the course of the industry. Battles were fought over patents, monopolies, regulation, and deregulation. AT&T became, for a time, the largest company in the world-and a protected monopoly. The move from monopoly to competitive services was long and difficult, and its complexity has only grown.

McMaster considers the numerous roles of players who affected the industry, including telecommunications carriers—especially AT&T—the government and its agencies, and the courts. Technology's role is also examined throughout telephone's development and maturation. McMaster chronicles the fascinating story of the telephone's rise, its spread to ubiquity in today's society, and the billion-dollar industry it has engendered. This accessible history is ideal for students seeking a clear, concise introduction to one of the landmark American industries of the 20th century.

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Editorial Reviews

From The Critics
Chronicles the evolution of the telecommunications industry in a series of stages from the invention of the telephone in 1876 to the present day. The book focuses on the roles played by AT&T, other long distance carriers, government agencies and the courts, and how each affected the development of the industry. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
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Product Details

Meet the Author

SUSAN E. MCMASTER is Senior Managing Economist at Criterion Economics.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1 The Invention and Development of the Telephone and the Telephone Network, 1875-1913 5
2 The Move to Regulation, 1913-1934 45
3 Federal Regulation: A New Beginning, 1934-1956 65
4 The Beginnings of Competition, 1956-1982 91
5 The Development of Long-Distance Competition, 1982-1996 121
6 The Telecommunications Act of 1996 and Local Competition, 1996-2000 153
Glossary 177
Bibliography 181
Index 185
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