chapter  5
14 Pages

Communication Policy & Technology

WithLon Berquist

Throughout its history, United States (US) communication policy has been shaped by evolving communication technologies. The First Amendment is a particularly important component of US communication policy, balancing freedom of the press with the free speech rights of citizens. The First Amendment was created at a time when the most sophisticated communication technology was the printing press. Although the evolution of technologies has influenced the policymaking process in the US, many of the fundamental characteristics of US communication policy were established early in the history of communication technology deployment, starting with the telegraph. The Telecommunications Act of 1996 was a significant recognition of the impact of technological innovation and convergence occurring within the media and telecommunications industries. Wireless spectrum, or the “invisible infrastructure,” that allows wireless communications, is rapidly facing a deficit as demand for mobile data continues to grow.