Cover image for The telecommunications industry
The telecommunications industry
McMaster, Susan E., 1966-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
xiii, 191 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm.
Reading Level:
1450 Lexile.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HE8815 .M38 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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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.

Author Notes

SUSAN E. MCMASTER is Senior Managing Economist at Criterion Economics./e She has worked for the FCC and MCI.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Telecommunications encompasses telephones, telegraph, television, radio, and increasingly, the Internet, but this book deals almost exclusively with the telephone. McMaster, a professional economist, traces in some detail the development of the telephone, focusing on the regulation of the telephone market that so strongly molded the existing market. She offers little rationale for the myriad regulations that shaped the telephony market, but solidly documents the major regulations and carefully explains their effects on the market. Through the author's chronological history of the industry, the roles of the major players (AT&T, the various government agencies, MCI, etc.) are explained as the regulations changed. The major telecommunications acts (including the most recent one in 1996) play a featured role in the exposition. Although the advent of cellular telephony has been the most important nonregulatory change in the industry, the impact of cellular phones is not a central theme of the book. Cellular phones are covered only as they affect competition in the industry. The author makes no predictions for the industry. This is a factual and historical book that should appeal to researchers needing explanation of the regulatory atmosphere of the telephone industry. ^BSumming Up Recommended. Graduate and research collections. B. P. Keating University of Notre Dame

Table of Contents

Larry L. Duetsch
Illustrationsp. vii
Abbreviationsp. ix
Prefacep. xi
Introductionp. 1
1 The Invention and Development of the Telephone and the Telephone Network, 1875-1913p. 5
2 The Move to Regulation, 1913-1934p. 45
3 Federal Regulation: A New Beginning, 1934-1956p. 65
4 The Beginnings of Competition, 1956-1982p. 91
5 The Development of Long-Distance Competition, 1982-1996p. 121
6 The Telecommunications Act of 1996 and Local Competition, 1996-2000p. 153
Glossaryp. 177
Bibliographyp. 181
Indexp. 185