Can the policy challenges of convergence be simply conceptualized?
Full text is available from an earlier conference paper version, cited as:
Bar, F. & Sandvig, C. (2000). Rules From Truth: Communication Policy After Convergence. Paper presented to the 28th Telecommunications Policy Research Conference (TPRC) on Communication, Information and Internet Policy, Alexandria, Virginia, USA.
Communication systems are now converging, but communication policy has evolved to treat different media with different doctrines. Most solutions for a post-convergence communication policy are adjustments to inherited regulatory categories. Instead, this article revisits the underlying goals of policymaking across all media. First, this article presents a conceptual model for the communication policy process as one of inertia punctuated by crisis. Second, it applies this model to a very brief history of policy in the US, considering print, post, telephony, broadcasting, and the Internet. Third, from this analysis it suggests useful approaches in a converged environment, distinguishing three underlying goals for policy: the right to public dissemination, the right to private exchange, and the right to design communication platforms.