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Article
Publication date: 20 March 2007

Dan Schiller

To lay out the basis for the special symposium on public service telecommunications.

Abstract

Purpose

To lay out the basis for the special symposium on public service telecommunications.

Design/methodology/approach

Conceptual outline of some key issues.

Findings

The opportunity to revisit the subject of public service telecommunications is both timely and important.

Originality/value

The subject of public service telecommunications has been unduly neglected; this symposium constitutes a fresh and well‐informed scholarly engagement.

Details

info, vol. 9 no. 2/3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6697

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 20 March 2007

Dan Schiller

The aim of this article is to show that US public‐service telecommunications, developing through a complex historical process, both engendered and depended on policies

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this article is to show that US public‐service telecommunications, developing through a complex historical process, both engendered and depended on policies that compelled major changes in system development.

Design/methodology/approach

The article contributes to the historiography of US telecommunications, and draws on archival sources and secondary scholarship.

Findings

The article shows that public service policies for telecommunications gradually became dominant, as widespread opposition to AT&T's corporate power gained political traction beginning in the 1930s. Although substantially limited, public service policies came to encompass expansion of service, labor relations, and corporate patents.

Originality/value

The article demonstrates that political conflict and crisis, not consensus, drove policy formation. It also shows that public service principles went far beyond the preferences of AT&T executives.

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1999

Dan Schiller

Espouses the Web with regard to the media and all its areas of relevance. Encourages and supports multinational forms of production as new but admits they may be no more…

Abstract

Espouses the Web with regard to the media and all its areas of relevance. Encourages and supports multinational forms of production as new but admits they may be no more sympathetic to social need and democratic practice than previous commercial media. Charts the market and the Web’s changes for commercial business.

Details

info, vol. 1 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6697

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Book part
Publication date: 16 October 2017

Vincent Mosco

Abstract

Details

Becoming Digital
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-295-6

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Article
Publication date: 20 March 2007

Vincent Mosco

The paper aims to expand the public service principle to cover labour and worker organizations in the communication industry. It also aims to demonstrate the value of

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to expand the public service principle to cover labour and worker organizations in the communication industry. It also aims to demonstrate the value of labour convergence as an instrument to advance the interests of knowledge workers and the public interest in communication.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws from conceptual debates around the nature of knowledge labour and of convergence. It draws from interviews and documentary evidence to determine the value of trade union convergence and new forms of worker organization in the communication industries.

Findings

The paper finds that communication workers are engaging in their own form of convergence and are using it to advance the public service principle in knowledge labour. In doing so, they are expanding the public interest in communication.

Originality/value

The paper is one of the only studies that connects the public service principle and convergence to knowledge and communication workers. It demonstrates that, despite significant challenges, these workers are a significant force in the communication arena.

Details

info, vol. 9 no. 2/3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6697

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2001

Yuezhi Zhao and Dan Schiller

Wonders whether, owing to severely restricted access, China’s government policy towards digital communications will remain in a constant state of flux – or will it gain…

Abstract

Wonders whether, owing to severely restricted access, China’s government policy towards digital communications will remain in a constant state of flux – or will it gain economic benefits without a social penalty? Concludes that China has to link the forces of change to channel and deflect domestic resistance.

Details

info, vol. 3 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6697

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Article
Publication date: 20 March 2007

Yuezhi Zhao

To examine “universal service” as a policy objective in post‐WTO accession Chinese telecommunications and analyze the challenges of the Chinese telecommunications system

Abstract

Purpose

To examine “universal service” as a policy objective in post‐WTO accession Chinese telecommunications and analyze the challenges of the Chinese telecommunications system in defining and promoting public service ethos in a country that is marked by staggering disparities.

Design/methodology/approach

A range of media, academic, industry, and policy discourses on “universal service” and a broader notion of “public service,” together with recent government efforts in promoting “universal service,” are examined and assessed to develop an analysis of the uneven nature of China's telecommunications development and reveal the dynamics of “universal service” policy formation, as well as the impetuses and impediments in developing any notion of public service telecommunications in China.

Findings

Public service issues in China need to be situated within a continuing process of uneven development which comprises dimensions other than residential telephone access. Although the ultimate policy goal appears to develop a nationally accessible telecommunications infrastructure as the basis of a unified national economy, this overall objective is beset by conflicts and contingent on the dynamics of elite and popular struggles over and beyond telecommunications development. Despite the spectacular expansion in telephone access, pragmatic concessions to dominant power groups, rather than a principled commitment to “universal service,” let alone efforts to define the social functions of telecommunications in more democratic ways, have shaped the development of China's telecommunications.

Originality/value

The development of China's telecommunications infrastructure offers lessons both as to the likelihood of successfully establishing an integrated national economy, and the role of public service in that context. However, the Chinese telecommunications policy field remains extremely fluid.

Details

info, vol. 9 no. 2/3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6697

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 20 March 2007

Michael A. Bernstein

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that the impulse to dismantle the US regulatory apparatus in major industries, including telecommunications, had less to do

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that the impulse to dismantle the US regulatory apparatus in major industries, including telecommunications, had less to do with genuine advances in economic analysis and the formulation of public policy than with the pursuit of particular political and professional agendas.

Design/methodology/approach

Through the perusal of archival evidence and narrative information gleaned from newspapers, official chronicles, and secondary historical literature, the research propositions of the paper are developed and argued.

Findings

The rise and fall of regulatory economics in the US was the result of the historical evolution of both mainstream economic theory and of the economics profession during the twentieth century. With the coming of the Great Depression and the Second World War and during a large part of the Cold War era that followed, American economists embraced the idea that genuine welfare gains could be won from the direct regulation of markets in certain key industries. By the late 1960s, however, a combination of shocks to the economy and the further elaboration of research paradigms in the economics profession served to undercut what had been a virtual consensus in the field. Within two decades, a wholesale deregulation of the American economy was well underway.

Originality/value

This paper situates the phenomenon of deregulation in the US case within a defined set of historical processes that involved political change in the twentieth century and the continued evolution of the professional community of economists nationwide and worldwide.

Details

info, vol. 9 no. 2/3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6697

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 20 March 2007

Pradip Thomas

In assessing the contribution made by telecommunications in India by the state and civil society to public service, this article aims to identify the state's initial

Abstract

Purpose

In assessing the contribution made by telecommunications in India by the state and civil society to public service, this article aims to identify the state's initial reluctance to recognise telecommunications provision as a basic need as against the robust tradition of public service aligned to the postal services and finds hope in the renewal of public service telecommunications via the Right to Information movement.

Design/methodology/approach

This article follows a history of telecommunications approach that is conversant with the political economy tradition. It uses archival sources, personal correspondence, and published information as its primary material.

Findings

The findings suggest that public service telecommunication is a relatively “new” concept in the annals of Indian telecommunications and that a de‐regulated environment along with the Right to Information movement holds significant hope for making public service telecommunications a real alternative.

Originality/value

This article provides a reflexive, critical account of public service telecommunications in India and suggests that it can be strengthened by learnings gained from the continual renewal of public service ideals and action by the postal services and a people‐based demand model linked to the Right to Information Movement.

Details

info, vol. 9 no. 2/3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6697

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 20 March 2007

Colin Blackman

Taking a forward looking and global perspective, the paper seeks to address the issue of whether the concept of public service telecommunications has any relevance to the future.

Abstract

Purpose

Taking a forward looking and global perspective, the paper seeks to address the issue of whether the concept of public service telecommunications has any relevance to the future.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws on published sources to look at the history of public service telecommunications, mainly in the USA, reviews the progress towards universal service across the world and explores the likely future developments in the telecommunications landscape over the next few decades.

Findings

The concept of public service telecommunications helped to stabilise the telecommunications industry in its infancy but ultimately stifled access to telecommunications services at affordable prices. However, the future will still need to be nurtured so that telecommunications are provided genuinely in a way that serves the public interest.

Originality/value

Provides a global and forward‐looking view on the value of the public interest in telecommunications.

Details

info, vol. 9 no. 2/3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6697

Keywords

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