Abstract - The Information Society 5(3)

The Politics of Global Competition in the Telecommunications Industry

Jeffrey A Hart

The international politics associated with competition in the telecommunications field centers on: 1. who will benefit from the construction of the next generation of telecommunications infrastructure, and 2. how access to foreign markets for telecommunications services providers will be regulated. An attempt is made to address these 2 questions. The domestic markets for large switches will remain fairly insulated from foreign competition, except perhaps, in the US. National security concerns will complicate markets for services. The strength of US firms in telecommunications and information will be acknowledged worldwide in a series of joint ventures. A French case study shows the advantages of having a national policy of lowering the entry costs for individuals to the network, but a German case study illustrates the opposite. It is concluded that there are important linkages between services and manufacturing activities within the information technology cluster.

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