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Americanization and Its LimitsReworking US Technology and Management in Post-war Europe and Japan$
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Jonathan Zeitlin and Gary Herrigel

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780199269044

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199269044.001.0001

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Failure to Communicate: British Telecommunications and the American Model

Failure to Communicate: British Telecommunications and the American Model

Chapter:
(p.153) Chapter 5 Failure to Communicate: British Telecommunications and the American Model
Source:
Americanization and Its Limits
Author(s):

Kenneth Lipartito (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199269044.003.0005

This chapter analyses British telecommunications policy. Throughout the 20th century, British telecommunications has remained substantially behind the United States in measures such as productivity and telephones per capita. Britain also didn't adopt advanced electronic switching technology until nearly two decades after the United States. It lagged behind other nations as well, such as Sweden and Japan. Nor did telecommunications manufacturing firms in Britain keep pace with global leaders. In attempting to redress these failures, however, British policy makers made two mistakes: they ignored powerful international tendencies embodied in ‘best practice’ nations such as the United States; and also responded to backwardness by adhering too closely to policies devised for other places and other times.

Keywords:   Britain, telecommunications policy, telecommunications service, telecommunications equipment manufacturing, Bell system

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