Review Of "Competition And Chaos: U.S. Telecommunications Since The 1996 Telecom Act" By R. W. Crandall

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Competition and Chaos provides a cautionary tale about the perils of static government intervention in a highly dynamic market. Crandall (Brookings Institution) traces the effects of the 1996 Telecommunications Act, which moved the telecommunication industry from one characterized by natural monopolies to what Crandall calls "heavily regulated competition." In the post-act years, the industry saw a major expansion of broadband (high-speed Internet) connections, growth in provision of broadband connections by cable television systems, and a changing competitive environment among wireless carriers. The book includes an analysis of the act and the changes that occurred in its aftermath. Crandall examines behavior in the markets for local and long-distance telephone service and for broadband and wireless services. The passage of the Telecommunications Act heralded a new era of telecommunications regulation, both in the US and internationally, and Crandall reviews the cross-country variations in regulatory regimes and impacts. Ultimately, he recommends that comprehensive, rather than partial, deregulation of the industry is needed. Valuable as a resource on the rapidly changing telecommunications industry and as a case study of how partial regulatory reform can fail to create the environment in which the reform's objectives can be met. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduate through faculty and research collections.


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