Cover: Testimony prepared for presentation to the Subcommittee on Communications, Senate Commerce Committee, March 22, 1977

Testimony prepared for presentation to the Subcommittee on Communications, Senate Commerce Committee, March 22, 1977

Published 1977

by Walter S. Baer

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A discussion of general trends in telecommunications technology and their implications for communications services. Advances in technology improve performance and enable new modes of communications, as well as reduce costs of existing services that often lead to their rapid expansion. Today most advances are of the cost-reducing kind. Particularly impressive have been cost reductions in long-distance transmission. The reason why the diffusion of a new telecommunications technology takes so long--often 20 years or more--is the need for compatibility with existing facilities. As a result, a new technology may find widespread application in other countries earlier than in the United States. New developments and changing costs make it important to avoid cartelization by technology. Firms should generally be free to use whatever technology will enable them to deliver better service at lower cost.

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