ISOC Mission Statement

Working Party
RealVideo Broadcast
Mbone Broadcast
Conference and Program

Geneva and Palexpo
Call for Papers
Plenary Speakers
Evening Events
Internet Access Room
BOF Meetings
Pre-Post Tours
Chapter Activities
Internet Related Meetings
Reports From The   Conference

K-12 Workshop
Developing Countries Networking Symposium
Technical Tutorials
Network Training Workshops

Invitation to Sponsors
INET'98 Sponsors
Previous INET Sponsors
Sponsor Benefits
Exhibition Hall

Press Releases
Media Accreditation and Form
Official INET'98 Publications

Registration Information and Form
Hotel Information and Form
Tour Information and Form
Airline Travel


Organizations/Companies Displaying the INET'98 Logo




These reports, written by volunteers, summarise information for people not able to attend the sessions. Their comprehensiveness and accuracy are not guaranteed. For more information, please contact the presenters directly. Their e-mail addresses are available at

Track 5: Globalisation and Regional implications

Session: The Internet and the transformation of the global telecommunication industry

By Melisa Makzume, 22 July 1998

The main question is: what is the role of the Internet in global telecommunications? There are two related issues: what is the impact of the Internet on traditional telecommunications? And how the Internet is a challenge for basic communication systems (fax, phone)?

In early 80’s, when the Internet appeared, it had little impact. The telecommunications industry did not know how to introduce it into their institutions. In fact, their bureaucratic system had difficulties understanding the flexible nature of the Internet.

The birth of the PC changed the role of the Internet in telecommunications. The fact that everyone could use a PC made the emancipation of the Internet easier. Since 1985, the net has developed and is now able to provide fax and telephony. The growth of its utilisation shows its importance today. Internet is not only a traditional communication system. It also offers information in a larger way; it brings the world to our screen! This is the challenge for fax and telephony. In fact, faxes do not give the possibility to buy a book from New York as we sit in Geneva…

But the real challenge is not in bringing wider information because we can not compare it to traditional communication systems. The real competition between the net and the basic telecommunications systems is the price. If the Net costs less than the traditional communications, it is because it is priced by megabytes instead of the distance between two cities or countries….

Moreover, the services cost less too because the money you spend in one state has not the same value in another state (20 dollars in Switzerland has not the same value in a developing state like Turkey!). The only solution, according to the speaker, for the basic telecommunication companies to challenge the net is probably to monopolise it.

In conclusion, the Internet is on the way to supply fax and telephony.

But the debate is still open on the main point raised by the net: the price. In fact, intra-European communication is more expansive than Europe-USA communication. So, there is a tendency towards a system centred in the United States. The final question is "is that a single market"?


About the Internet Society | Conference Overview | Pre-Conference Events | Sponsorship + Exhibition |

Registration, Housing, Travel | Media/Press | FAQs | Home


All graphics and content copyright ©1998 Internet Society.

The INET'98 Web-site was designed by Designright, Inc.