Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Starr Chp 6 Technology of Civil Society

"From 1894 to 1907, wide open competition at the turn of the century set in motion the expanded adoption and use of telephones,..." (Starr 204) Due to the emergence of the competitive market at this time, the rivalry between Bell and the independent phone companies had become extremely cutthroat. Independent phone companies started developing in rural areas for the first time. They provided cheaper prices and other services. Unforturnately, they faced numerous problems such as long-distance services, shortages of capital, and they were poorly organized compared to Bell's service. These companies also had dual service in some areas and their main purpose was to undermine Bell's service. The main reason Bell was so successful besides its patents was that it "was able to use its political influence and financial clout to prevent its rivals from gaining a foothold in New York, Boston, and Chicago. The failure of independent phone systems to penetrate these centers was a serious handicap...".(Starr 205) Unfortunately, for Bell's phone company his patents and long distance service were unbeatable and still stand at the forefront of communications today.


At 9:54 PM, Blogger A. Mattson said...

A very good post.

How was competition beneficial to the development and expansion of the use of the telephone. Was it inevitable that this competitive marketplace would end in monopoly? Was the monopoly created for economic efficiency or merely a result of political clout and profiteering? Cleary the long distance system benefited from monopoly.


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