August 01, 2017

Editor’s Column

By Casey Wren

We begin our celebration of 100 years of the Infrastructure and Regulated Industries Section on behalf of infrastructure companies with histories of two great 20th century industries—telecommunications and nuclear power. Quite fittingly, our anniversary celebration begins with Alexander Graham Bell and the emergence of perhaps the most successful corporation in American history, AT&T. Because of its dominance, AT&T and its lawyers were present at center stage of the regulatory and antitrust enforcement controversies that have defined the history of communications law and communications lawyers—from patent disputes to monopoly power to net neutrality. Our colleagues Christian F. Binnig and J. Tyson Covey tell the colorful story that begins with efforts to improve telegraph service and ends with today’s ubiquitous wireless and data services. In between, we are reminded of the disputes over the social control and market design of communications services, then voice and now data, which for 100 years, as a formal and settled matter, have been considered not just essential to human comfort and satisfaction, but necessarily “universal.”

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