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Communication Reform Essay

2959 words - 12 pages

In the past, it has been shown that with each new wave of breakthroughs of communications technology, there has been a trend towards a change throughout the entire communications industry. Telecommunications is getting more personal, affecting the way that we view the world around us. As a result, the telecommunications industry has fragmented into specialized areas, each being better suited to providing certain services. This is a far cry from the time when foreboding monopolies with names like BT, ATT, and NTT ruled the industry. Now there are players such as GTE, Orbcomm, and Lucent. The playing field has become crowded, with many corporations vying for the space once occupied by only a chosen few. The term deregulation is invoked when a communications market that has been traditionally closed to outside competitors is opened for competition. Deregulation can also correspond to the loosening of controls on a particular communications product or service, or of the introduction of a new product or service into a traditionally closed market. Deregulation of the communications industry has been the language of the last fifteen years in countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom and Japan, and there are no signs that this trend will change or subside. If the past is any indicator, advances in communications technology will inevitably lead to continued deregulation of global telecommunications.One may wonder why deregulation of the telcom industry is such a good thing. In the early days of modern telecommunications, many countries around the world would have not had any access at all to telephones if it weren't for a governmental monopoly on the industry. Governments of various countries involved themselves with local telecommunications to ensure that the development of the system was uniform, and that calls could be placed from one area of the country to another over reliable connections.Having communications regulations in place could be important to a nation trying to prevent a "bleed" of its technology to other nations around the world. For example, until recently, most computers over a certain speed that had to be shipped out of the country to a nation such as the former Soviet Union needed an export license. This regulation was in place in order to prevent reverse engineering of American products. This applies to the American communications industry because tight controls are kept over cryptography products in order to prevent them from being sold to nations who In turn might use our strong encryption protocols against the United States.However, regulation has recently fallen out of favor with much of the developed world. A good example of this trend is FLAG, the Fiberoptic Link Around the Globe. FLAG will stretch over numerous continents in an attempt to create a high-bandwith link between the countries of Europe and the countries of Asia. FLAG will provide these countries with an Internet connection that is faster or just as...

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