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The crash in competitive telephony

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In the latter half of the past decade, the electronics business became a part of the telephone business. Quite unexpectedly, many parts of the electronics industry - particularly data switch makers - found their economic welfare tied to four decades of regulatory experimentation. In this experimentation, regulators wanted to develop competitors in various parts of the telephony industry. One catalyst for the change was the US Telecommunications Act of 1996 - the first major alteration to US federal communications law in more than 60 years. At the same time, the Internet exploded into commercial use, fueling the demand for bandwidth affiliated with data transmission. The general public does not widely understand these changes. This is understandable, because the events themselves were genuinely complicated. Nonetheless, if you have an eerie sense that these changes did not go well, you are right. Many of these new competitors have gone bankrupt. Some analysts now view US transmission capacity as needlessly overbuilt. Others view this crash as marking the beginning of the end to deregulation for local telephony. This situation will take some explaining

Published in:

Micro, IEEE  (Volume:22 ,  Issue: 4 )