Internet @ Europe: Overcoming institutional fragmentation and policy failure
For more than a decade the Internet was confronted with ignorance and resistance in many European countries. National and European technology policies were unfavorable to “not invented here” technologies and committed to “open networks” of a different kind. The incumbent network operators in telecommunications, most of them enjoying a monopoly status for a long time, declined tolerating deviant modes of data communication and service provision, which might trigger competition and uncontrollable use of their networks. This situation was not simply a matter of attitudes and beliefs of the managerial and political élite. It was rather an expression of constraints of a traditional institutional setting which had produced industry structures and industrial policy strategies that were not compatible with the Internet. Only recently can we observe changes. Telecoms liberalization in the European Union and the emergence of market competition in this industry coincide with a new Internet policy that recognizes the infrastructural significance of this network for a European information society and the need to involve Internet users in order to exploit the potential of this network.
Internet; telecommunication policy; industrial policy; competition policy; liberalization; standardisation; institutionalism; institutions; national interest; new technologies; policy analysis; policy coordination; political economy; protectionism; RTD policy; political science
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