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Benjamin M. Compaine

Benjamin M. Compaine is Senior Research Affiliate at the Internet and Telecoms Convergence Consortium at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is the editor of The Digital Divide: Facing a Crisis or Creating a Myth? (MIT Press, 2001) and coauthor of Who Owns the Media?

Titles by This Editor

The Internet and Beyond

Until the 1980s, it was presumed that technical change in most communications services could easily be monitored from centralized state and federal agencies. This presumption was long outdated prior to the commercialization of the Internet. With the Internet, the long-forecast convergence of voice, video, and text bits became a reality. Legislation, capped by the Telecommunications Act of 1996, created new quasi-standards such as "fair" and "reasonable" for the FCC and courts to apply, leading to nonstop litigation and occasional gridlock.

Facing a Crisis or Creating a Myth?

The Digital Divide refers to the perceived gap between those who have access to the latest information technologies and those who do not. If we are indeed in an Information Age, then not having access to this information is an economic and social handicap. Some people consider the Digital Divide to be a national crisis, while others consider it an over-hyped non-issue. This book presents data supporting the existence of such a divide in the 1990s along racial, economic, ethnic, and education lines.

Raising Questions, Seeking Answers in Communications Policy

At the beginning of 2000, the U.S. economy was enjoying the longest period of sustained growth and economic prosperity in its history. According to The Internet Upheaval, part of the explanation for this phenomenon is a consequence of how information technologies, in particular the Internet, are upending fundamental economic and social structures.

Research for the Information Age

To understand the Information Age one must understand the concept of information as a resource. Like other basic resources such as energy and materials, information resources are building blocks of society. But unlike energy and materials, they are far more abundant and versatile. Information resources includes computers, telecommunications, the mass media, and financial services, all created or changed by the movement from analog to digital. This collection looks at the factors underlying digital technologies as well as the resulting public and strategic policy issues.