Telecommunications: Network Strategies for Network Industries?

NETWORK-BASED STRATEGIES AND COMPETENCIES, Wharton School Publishing, Forthcoming

20 Pages Posted: 5 Mar 2008

See all articles by Kevin Werbach

Kevin Werbach

University of Pennsylvania, The Wharton School, Legal Studies & Business Ethics Department

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Werbach, Kevin, Telecommunications: Network Strategies for Network Industries?. NETWORK-BASED STRATEGIES AND COMPETENCIES, Wharton School Publishing, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1100068

Kevin Werbach (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania, The Wharton School, Legal Studies & Business Ethics Department ( email )

3730 Walnut Street
Suite 600
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6365
United States
215-898-1222 (Phone)

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