Telecommunications in the Pacific Basin: An Evolutionary Approach

Telecommunications in the Pacific Basin: An Evolutionary Approach

Telecommunications in the Pacific Basin: An Evolutionary Approach

Telecommunications in the Pacific Basin: An Evolutionary Approach


This comprehensive book examines the current state of telecommunications in the Pacific Basin. The focus is on the economic, regulatory, and social change caused by the technological evolution, marketplace developments and institutional reorganization. The overall analysis of the volume evolves around a multi-stage evolutionary model of public telecommunications networks. The first part consists of analytic articles on the evolution of telecommunication networks in the region, a comparison of deregulation policies in the different countries, and an analysis of public and private cooperation in international informatics. The second part reviews telecommunications systems in individual countries, including Australia, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, the Philippines, and the United States.


Although telecommunications are in flux throughout the world, nowhere has the transformation advanced further, faster and in more interesting ways than in the Pacific region. This change is closely related to the more general progress of the electronic sector, in which the countries bordering the Pacific are leaders in design and manufacture.

It is also based on the region's voracious appetite for telecommunications services. Geographically distant from the rest of the world and from each other by vast stretches of ocean, Pacific countries' economies are increasingly tied together by electronic information flows. Given an environment of enormous economic and technological change, it would be surprising if the traditional institutions of telecommunications were left unaffected. Indeed, they are being transformed almost everywhere.

The subject of this book is the telecommunications systems of the Pacific region--their past, present, and future. Their evolution provides an abundance of rich material, yet it had not been previously comprehensively presented and analyzed. This absence was unfortunate in several respects.

First, the region is comprised of economies at various stages of development, permitting an evolutionary perspective for propositions regarding the relationship between economic development and the nature of telecommunications regulation. National telecommunications systems range from public networks that have barely begun to reach the broader population to systems where a variety of economic and political forces have broken down the traditional monopoly system and prompt users and new entrants to fashion alternative types of networks. One question is whether the traditional structure of telecommunications--based on natural monopoly characteristics of networks and the use of telecommunications for social and development policy--has been only a passing phase, dependent on the state of economic and technological development, and is now changing significantly with the growth of an information economy.

Second, there is much interaction among countries. Each Pacific Basin country has been affected by reforms in telecommunications policies of the United States and Japan, and by industrial development policies countries. Interrelated policies raise the question of the dynamics and stability of an international environment comprised of different telecommunications regimes.

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