[Air-L] Impact of AT&T divestiture on American college and university campus computer networks?

Kevin Guidry krguidry at gmail.com
Tue Oct 16 10:44:39 PDT 2007


   I am currently trying to piece together a history of technologies
provided in American college and university residence halls.  I am
particularly focusing on technologies used for non-curricular
communication and entertainment such as buzzers, telephones,
televisions, computer labs, and in-room network connections.  I'm
really interested in knowing why these technologies were introduced
and supported (market forces, consumerism, experimentation, academic
uses, etc.).
   While I certainly welcome input on the broader topic, I turn to you
to recommend sources to help me understand what effect, if any, the
1984 divestiture of AT&T may have had on the development of American
college and university campus computer networks and
telecommunications, particularly computer networks installed in
residence halls.  From primary and secondary sources, I already know
that some institutions (the pioneers, as far as I can tell) began
installing and experimenting with in-room network connections in the
mid 80s.  So the timing is right and it opens the door to examine the
possibility that the AT&T divestiture helped spur these particular
telecoms innovations and experiments, directly or indirectly.  But I
need (a) a broad understanding of the impact of the breakup and (b)
empirical evidence of impact made on American colleges and
   Are there particular resources you can recommend to help me
understand the impact of the AT&T breakup on large American
organizations and the development of computer networks?  I have a
feeling that there are a handful of definitive descriptions but this
is a new area for me to explore and I welcome guidance.


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