Shaping American Telecommunications examines the technical, regulatory, and economic forces that have shaped the development of American telecommunications services. This volume is both an introduction to the basic technical, economic, and regulatory principles underlying telecommunications, and a detailed account of major events that have marked development of the sector in the United States. Beginning with the introduction of the telegraph and continuing through to current developments in wireless and online services, authors Christopher H. Sterling, Phyllis W. Bernt, and Martin B.H. Weiss explain each stage of telecommunications development, examining the interplay among technical innovation, policy decisions, and regulatory developments.Offering an integrated treatment of the interplay among technology, policy, and economics as key factors defining the development of the telecommunications sector in the United States, this volume also provides:*background material to facilitate understanding of each sector;*contexts for many so-called "new" issues, problems, and trends, demonstrating origins from years or decades in the past; and*careful annotation, documentation, and reference tables to enable further research on the topics discussed.This unique multidisciplinary approach provides a balanced view of U.S. telecommunications history, in context with relevant economic, legal, social, and technical analyses. As such, it is essential reading for advanced students in telecommunications needing to understand how the telecommunications industry and service developed to its current form. The volume will also serve as a supplemental text in courses on telecommunications regulation, and it will be of value to professionals in the field seeking context and background for their daily work.