Captive Audience

The Telecom Industry and Monopoly Power in the New Gilded Age

Susan Crawford

View Inside Price: $25.00


February 25, 2014
368 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
ISBN: 9780300205701
Paper

Also available in:
Cloth

Why Americans are paying much more for Internet access,and getting much less

Ten years ago, the United States stood at the forefront of the Internet revolution. With some of the fastest speeds and lowest prices in the world for high-speed Internet access, the nation was poised to be the global leader in the new knowledge-based economy. Today that global competitive advantage has all but vanished because of a series of government decisions and resulting monopolies that have allowed dozens of countries, including Japan and South Korea, to pass us in both speed and price of broadband. This steady slide backward not only deprives consumers of vital services needed in a competitive employment and business market—it also threatens the economic future of the nation.

This important book by leading telecommunications policy expert Susan Crawford explores why Americans are now paying much more but getting much less when it comes to high-speed Internet access. Using the 2011 merger between Comcast and NBC Universal as a lens, Crawford examines how we have created the biggest monopoly since the breakup of Standard Oil a century ago. In the clearest terms, this book explores how telecommunications monopolies have affected the daily lives of consumers and America's global economic standing.

Susan Crawford is a visiting professor at Harvard Law School and a fellow at the Roosevelt Institute. She lives in New York City.
“A calm but chilling state-of-play on the information age in the United States.”—David Carr, New York Times

“Important and provocative.” —Sam Gustin, Time.com
“Federal regulatory agencies make definitional decisions in the lives of Americans. But they are little covered by our diminished media; and even when the stories are told, they tend to be told from the perspective of the powerful. That’s what makes Susan Crawford’s book . . . so remarkable. She gets the facts straight—I know, because I was there. But she also does something just as important: she puts the facts in perspective, providing readers with an analysis that is essential if we are ever going to forge communications policies that serve all Americans." —Micheal J. Copps, Former FCC Chairman, The Nation

“With an appealing blend of earnestness and feistiness, Crawford is set on turning the sorry state of broadband and wireless services in the United States into the biggest populist outrage since Elizabeth Warren went after banks.” —John B. Judis, The New Republic
“Crawford argues persuasively that the unchecked power of telecom giants has removed incentives for progress.”—Paul Krugman, The New York Times