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MCI and the Long-Distance Challenge

 

 

 

Little Strokes Fell Great Oaks

“Little strokes fell great oaks” was the aphorism Benjamin Franklin devised to describe the way in which gradual changes lead to dramatic transformations. His aphorism accurately portrays the way in which Microwave Communications Inc. (MCI), a small upstart firm, helped to transform the telecommunications landscape, leading to the breakup of AT&T in 1984, and moved the old public philosophy to a new one in which a form of competition would play a significant role. MCI’s gradually unfolding strategy is instructive. It did not all at once batter the old public service philosophy in which AT&T acted as the dominating network manager dedicated to fulfilling the ...

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