Universal Service: Competition, Interconnection, and Monopoly in the Making of the American Telephone System. Milton L. Miller, Jr.

Universal Service: Competition, Interconnection, and Monopoly in the Making of the American... Review of Industrial Organization 13: 613–615, 1998. Book Review Universal Service: Competition, Interconnection, and Monopoly in the Making of the American Telephone System. Milton L. Miller, Jr. Cambridge MA: The MIT Press and Washington, DC: The AEI Press, 1997, 213 pages, $40. “Universal service” in the telephone industry has at least two working definitions. The definition most familiar in current circles refers to universal connectedness, or connecting all households to the nationally interconnected telephone network. The most critical issue in such an endeavor is to provide basic telephone service at a “reasonable” monthly rate to all U.S. citizens. The less known definition of univer- sal service was coined by Theodore Vail, then president of AT&T, in 1907, referring to a unified (national) telephone system controlled by one company, AT&T. The primary difference between these two working definitions is interconnectedness. The author’s intent with this work is to highlight the contrast in these two def- initions, place the early definition in historical context, and map out the transition of this market from one of access competition (which made the original definition of universal service a goal of AT&T) to one of regulated monopoly, then to price competition in an interconnected http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Review of Industrial Organization Springer Journals

Universal Service: Competition, Interconnection, and Monopoly in the Making of the American Telephone System. Milton L. Miller, Jr.

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Publisher
Kluwer Academic Publishers
Copyright
Copyright © 1998 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
Subject
Economics; Industrial Organization; Microeconomics
ISSN
0889-938X
eISSN
1573-7160
D.O.I.
10.1023/A:1007766712747
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Review of Industrial Organization 13: 613–615, 1998. Book Review Universal Service: Competition, Interconnection, and Monopoly in the Making of the American Telephone System. Milton L. Miller, Jr. Cambridge MA: The MIT Press and Washington, DC: The AEI Press, 1997, 213 pages, $40. “Universal service” in the telephone industry has at least two working definitions. The definition most familiar in current circles refers to universal connectedness, or connecting all households to the nationally interconnected telephone network. The most critical issue in such an endeavor is to provide basic telephone service at a “reasonable” monthly rate to all U.S. citizens. The less known definition of univer- sal service was coined by Theodore Vail, then president of AT&T, in 1907, referring to a unified (national) telephone system controlled by one company, AT&T. The primary difference between these two working definitions is interconnectedness. The author’s intent with this work is to highlight the contrast in these two def- initions, place the early definition in historical context, and map out the transition of this market from one of access competition (which made the original definition of universal service a goal of AT&T) to one of regulated monopoly, then to price competition in an interconnected

Journal

Review of Industrial OrganizationSpringer Journals

Published: Oct 6, 2004

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