In a broad account accessible to generalist and specialist
alike, the authors--social scientists as well as
technologists--address the current national debate about the
development of a National Information Infrastructure. They locate
the debate in its historical context and outline a bold vision of
an open communications infrastructure that will cut through the
political gridlock that threatens this "information highway."The
authors detail what is wrong with the political process on National
Information Infrastructure policymaking and assess how different
media systems (telecommunications, radio, television broadcasting,
and the like) were originally established, spelling out the
technological assumptions and organizational interests on which
they were based and showing why the old policy models are now
breaking down. This analysis leads logically to a policy proposal
for a reformed regulatory structure that builds and protects
meaningful competition but abandons its role as arbiter of tariffs
and definer of the public interest.
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