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Title: The British response to global telecommunications convergence, 1997-2007
Author: Hughes, R. B.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2007
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This dissertation examines the International Political Economy (IPE) of the United telecommunications convergence and the political-regulatory response of the United Kingdom to this global transformation, 1997-2007. Part I discusses the global politics of convergence from both theoretical and historical perspectives, and Part II traces the creation and institutionalisation of the UK Office of Communications (Ofcom). A liberal theory of postinternational politics is employed to unpack the global politics of telecommunications convergence and the modern regulatory state. For over a century, the international telecommunications sector was governed according to the strict principles and norms of an interstate regime managed by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). In the late 20th century, the venerable ITU regime was reshaped by the twin forces of the multilateral trade expansion and Internet Protocol (IP) diffusion. Together these forces presented structural challenges for leading telecommunications economies, including the United Kingdom. The creation and institutionalisation of Ofcom reveal how the United Kingdom responded to the concurrent domestic-foreign governance challenges presented by converging communications technologies. In its formative year Ofcom fulfilled its Parliamentary remit to make the UK a ‘global hub’ for converged telecommunications by: 1) Restructuring the domestic regulatory environment of the UK; and 2) Reaching out to the dominant spheres of authority in the three primary overseas economic domains of British influence – Europe, the US, and the Commonwealth. Through these engagements, Ofcom made strategic use of transnational policy networks to align its interests with public and private spheres of authority on several high-profile concerns, including next generation networks and radio frequency spectrum reform. The creation and institutionalisation of Ofcom made an important contribution towards extending British international telecommunications leadership into the convergence era.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available