6The Economy and the Future of the Internet

6.1. Building a national network

The initial establishment of a national communications network is never guided by key economic principles. Just as past actions permeate the present, so do they also influence the future. Networks are built according to the different pressures (political, financial, normative, customer oriented) that they face and their construction should be forward looking. The various theories built around network growth do not permit the formulation of formal laws, in correlation with compelling economic evidence. Furthermore, countries with liberal economies, such as socialist economies, have, after experiments of varying lengths, abandoned the principle of planned interventionism, a Colbertist or Marxist tendency. There are also few rules able to assist network managers in carrying out their duties. Building a network consequently responds to the simplest criteria possible in the liberal world: taking the best decision guided by the available technical achievements, with the selection being made by network operators and validated by the good will of business and residential users. If no basic rule can be provided to assist in constructing or developing a network, economists will be frustrated. They will then turn, by default, toward establishing indexes relating to the use of digital services, which will allow them to observe the degree of user satisfaction in all countries over the course of a day.

6.2. Internet ...

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