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Title: Implementing the Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) : prospects and problems in the realisation of a telecommunications concept.
Author: Darmaros, Theodore.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3404 7331
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 1992
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The present thesis discusses the interrelation between technical change, institutional transformation and public policy in the context of the planning and early development of new public telecommunications infrastructures. Efforts to implement ISDN have featured prominently in the above developments during the 1980s, thus offering the empirical ground on which the thesis focuses. Specifically, the thesis aims to identify the main critical factors that have been shaping the realisation of ISDN nationally and internationally and assess their impact in its early commercialisation stage. A number of analytical concepts provide the background for the above exercise: the Schumpeterian "creative destruction" and its variants; the notion of complementarity between technical change and institutional restructuring; different classifications of the innovation process; the ideas of technological paradigms and trajectories; the role of user-producer relations. ISDN is assessed in view of the broader transformations that have revolutionised the telecommunications industry during the 1980s. The innovative record of "technical trends" and socio-technical "concepts" examined by the thesis supports the case for technological pluralism. Their presence opens a variety of implementation alternatives for policy makers and defies the technological determinism strongly present in the original versions of the ISDN concept. Moreover, the spectrum of liberalisation regulatory options analysed, creates radically different conditions for the realisation of ISDN from the monopoly environment it was conceived in. As a result, ISDN is forced to change, adapting to a competitive, "open network" environment. The thesis examines the specific experiences of ISDN implementation in the United States, Japan and the European Community (France, Germany and the U.K., plus policies promoted by the European Commission) for its early diffusion period (up to 1990). It is demonstrated that ISDN has been pushed by telecommunications suppliers as part of both their longer-term strategic plans as well as their shorter-term tactical moves. Yet supply push, including international standardisation efforts, has been unable to offer success alone. A weak user participation, later realised by some providers; a slow and complex adaptation of ISDN to the new regulatory realities; difficulties to identify "winning" commercial applications for the right markets. These are the most important problem factors in ISDN's smooth commercialisation, although with varying impact in different national environments.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Communication systems & telecommunications