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Internationalizing the Internet

The Co-evolution of Influence and Technology

Brung-Keun Kim

This compelling book focuses on the global formation of the Internet system. It contests the common belief that the Internet’s adoption was inevitable and instead examines the social and economic processes that allowed to it to prevail over competing standards and methods for achieving a global information infrastructure.
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Chapter 3: Economics and Politics of Telecommunications Systems

Brung-Keun Kim


3. Economics and politics of telecommunication systems 3.1 INTRODUCTION The Internet, a sub-system of telecommunications, consists of computer networks built largely upon the existing telecommunication infrastructure. The Internet can be defined as a network of interconnected computer networks, which communicate with each other globally using a common communications protocol: Transmission Control Protocol/Internet protocol (TCP/IP).1 This chapter discusses the technological, economic and political characteristics of telecommunications to understand the dynamic processes of the Internet system development and its implications for economies and societies. As discussed in Chapter 4, the inventions and growth of data network including the Internet have been either facilitated or restricted by the institutional changes in the traditional telecommunications system. Many authors argue that the Internet is introducing a new industrial paradigm for telecommunications system and information infrastructure. For example, Kavassalis and Lehr argue that ‘the Internet will eventually emerge as a significant force of a more open, less integrated industry structure’ (Kavassalis and Lehr, 1998). However the future industrial structure of the Internet is closely related to that of the telecommunications system. The growth of the Internet system is tied to its integration into the telecommunications system by coupling technologies, and consolidation of market players is discussed in Chapters 4 and 5. Section 3.2 reviews the governance of telecommunications. The governance and management of telecommunications have varied in different countries reflecting different historical experiences, traditions and legal system. Different governance of telecommunications between the USA and European countries affected the design of computer...

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