US Telecommunications Today


Nicholas Economides*

February 1998


This short essay examines the current conditions in the US telecommunications sector. We examine the impact of technological and regulatory change on market structure and business strategy. Among others, we examine the impact on pricing of digitization and the emergence of internet telephony. We briefly examine the impact of the 1996 Telecommunications Act on market structure and strategy in conjunction with the history of regulation and antitrust intervention in the telecommunications sector. After discussing the impact of wireless technologies, we conclude by venturing into some short term predictions. We express concern about the derailment of the implementation of the 1996 Act by the aggressive legal tactics of the entrenched monopolists (the local exchange carriers), and we point to the real danger that the intent of Congress in passing the 1996 Act to promote competition in telecommunications will not be realized.

Forthcoming, Business Economics, April 1998.

* Stern School of Business, New York, NY 10012, tel. (212) 998-0864, fax (212) 995-4218, e-mail:, www:

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