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Technology/Policy

Telecommunications Law and Policy in the Internet Age

In Digital Crossroads, two experts on telecommunications policy offer a comprehensive and accessible analysis of the regulation of competition in the U.S. telecommunications industry. The first edition of Digital Crossroads (MIT Press, 2005) became an essential and uniquely readable guide for policymakers, lawyers, scholars, and students in a fast-moving and complex policy field. In this second edition, the authors have revised every section of every chapter to reflect the evolution in industry structure, technology, and regulatory strategy since 2005.

The book features entirely new discussions of such topics as the explosive development of the mobile broadband ecosystem; incentive auctions and other recent spectrum policy initiatives; the FCC’s net neutrality rules; the National Broadband Plan; the declining relevance of the traditional public switched telephone network; and the policy response to online video services and their potential to transform the way Americans watch television. Like its predecessor, this new edition of Digital Crossroads not only helps nonspecialists climb this field’s formidable learning curve, but also makes substantive contributions to ongoing policy debates.

Information, Policy, and Power

As the informational state replaces the bureaucratic welfare state, control over information creation, processing, flows, and use has become the most effective form of power. In Change of State Sandra Braman examines the theoretical and practical ramifications of this "change of state." She looks at the ways in which governments are deliberate, explicit, and consistent in their use of information policy to exercise power, exploring not only such familiar topics as intellectual property rights and privacy but also areas in which policy is highly effective but little understood. Such lesser-known issues include hybrid citizenship, the use of "functionally equivalent borders" internally to allow exceptions to U.S. law, research funding, census methods, and network interconnection. Trends in information policy, argues Braman, both manifest and trigger change in the nature of governance itself.After laying the theoretical, conceptual, and historical foundations for understanding the informational state, Braman examines 20 information policy principles found in the U.S Constitution. She then explores the effects of U.S. information policy on the identity, structure, borders, and change processes of the state itself and on the individuals, communities, and organizations that make up the state. Looking across the breadth of the legal system, she presents current law as well as trends in and consequences of several information policy issues in each category affected.

Change of State introduces information policy on two levels, coupling discussions of specific contemporary problems with more abstract analysis drawing on social theory and empirical research as well as law. Most important, the book provides a way of understanding how information policy brings about the fundamental social changes that come with the transformation to the informational state.