Telecommunications: Network Strategies for Network Industries?
NETWORK-BASED STRATEGIES AND COMPETENCIES, Wharton School Publishing, Forthcoming
20 Pages Posted: 5 Mar 2008
If there is a sector of the economy that should embrace network-based thinking, it is telecommunications. Surprisingly, the opposite is the case. The leading firms building telecommunications and Internet infrastructure increasingly emphasize consolidation, hierarchy, and exclusive control, rather than collaboration and decentralization. Regulators are dismantling legal frameworks that once promoted openness and interconnection, in favor of misguided efforts to incent proprietary investment. And many scholars, even those challenging the current drift of policy and business models, embrace a static worldview that is a relic of earlier eras. Network-based strategies are thus hard to find today in the so-called "network industries," even as such ideas flourish in adjacent digital information markets. This chapter explores the origins of this paradox, describes its manifestations in the legal and business environment, and traces a more hopeful future.
Keywords: telecommunications, Internet, network
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