Emerging Issues Surrounding the Convergence of the Telecommunications, Broadcasting and Information Technology Sectors

Mckenna, Alan (2000) Emerging Issues Surrounding the Convergence of the Telecommunications, Broadcasting and Information Technology Sectors. Information & Communications Technology Law, 9 (2). pp. 93-128. ISSN 1360-0834. (The full text of this publication is not available from this repository)

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Abstract

This paper attempts to address issues raised by the convergence of the telecommunications, broadcasting and IT sectors. The approach taken is to provide an analysis of the path to convergence, with the assertion that the United States NII initiative was in many respects the catalyst for the whole process. The American vision of the information age is contrasted with the European Union's version, which highlights not only the strategic importance both place on the new communications world but also the differing emphasis placed on social needs in the new world. To provide a better understanding of the whole subject area a basic analysis of the sectors preconvergence is provided, with particular emphasis on the pre-convergence regulatory structures in the UK, European Union and United States. Consideration is given to the whole philosophical issue of how the converged industry should best be regulated, whether by strong regulatory controls or by competition law. This will highlight many of the tensions in this field of activity. The main thrust of the paper is that proper analysis and discussion have not so far been made in what is an area of fundamental importance for the whole of the world's population. Vital issues affected by convergence which are addressed, include social exclusion, cultural imperialism, universal service and public service broadcasting, citizenship and democracy. Without proper debate it is premised that gigantic transnational corporations will eventually control the converged industry, with national governments impotent to prevent abuse of the power such corporations will wield. The implications of this are profound, with democracy itself potentially hanging in the balance.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
K Law > K Law (General)
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > Kent Law School
Depositing User: Alan McKenna
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2007 19:24
Last Modified: 14 Jan 2010 14:05
Resource URI: http://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/2020 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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