owning your own phone
Posted Apr 15, 2011 22:53 UTC (Fri) by giraffedata
In reply to: TXLF: Defining and predicting the mobile "ecosystem"
Parent article: TXLF: Defining and predicting the mobile "ecosystem"
That's a funny way of saying it, anyway: "people couldn't own their own phone - they had to rent it from the phone company." The financial arrangements and property rights aren't relevant to the analogy the speaker was trying to make. Had the phone company sold the instruments to subscribers, it wouldn't have changed the point.
The point is that the phone company controlled the network all the way out to the terminals (and beyond -- a landmark court case found that a subscriber couldn't even slide a rubber cup over the microphone to improve privacy -- that was a modification of the telephone network!).
The important change in 1980 was that people were allowed to attach any terminal equipment they wanted to the network (as long as it met certain specifications so as not to damage the network).
I don't know if the fact that phone companies started offering terminals for sale as well as for rent at that time was an auxiliary part of the rule change or just an economic result of it.
to post comments)