Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Information and control : inventing the communications revolution in post-war Britain
Author: Ward, J. W.
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2018
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Please try the link below.
Access from Institution:
This thesis undertakes the first history of the post-war British telephone system, and addresses it through the lens of both actors’ and analysts’ emphases on the importance of ‘information’ and ‘control’. I explore both through a range of chapters on organisational history, laboratories, telephone exchanges, transmission technologies, futurology, transatlantic communications, and privatisation. The ideal of an ‘information network’ or an ‘information age’ is present to varying extents in all these chapters, as are deployments of different forms of control. The most pervasive, and controversial, form of control throughout this history is computer control, but I show that other forms of control, including environmental, spatial, and temporal, are all also important. I make three arguments: first, that the technological characteristics of the telephone system meant that its liberalisation and privatisation were much more ambiguous for competition and monopoly than expected; second, that information has been more important to the telephone system as an ideal to strive for, rather than the telephone system’s contribution to creating an apparent information age; third, that control is a more useful concept than information for analysing the history of the telephone system, but more work is needed to study the discursive significance of ‘control’ itself.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available