14Content Delivery and Net Neutrality

Historical Note

The value proposed by telecommunications networks has until recently been largely connecting people. Telephone operators have provided an infrastructure over which two subscribers can communicate. Both telephone and telegraph systems were in essence ‘pipes’ over which information flow took place. Very few third parties were involved with any extra ‘information’ in this value chain. The only information provided over these networks besides that coming from the calling and called parties was directory assistance provided by the operator. This service was usually complimentary and did not contribute significantly to operators’ revenues.

With the introduction of automatic switches in the late 20th century, a number of third-party service providers emerged. Initial services included ...

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