Cutting through the confusion around the nature and implications of digitalization, this book explores the rise of the new digital networks, how they affect traditional infrastructure, and how they will eventually need to be regulated. The authors examine how digitalization affects infrastructures in telecommunications, transport, and energy, and how digital platforms establish themselves as a new network on top of and in addition to traditional ones.
Complex concepts are introduced through short and colorful stories about the founders of the most popular platforms (Google, Facebook, Skype, Uber, etc.) and how they grew to positions of power, drawing parallels with century-old traditional network industries’ monopoly power (AT&T, General Electric, etc.). The authors argue that these digital platforms strongly interfere with traditional infrastructures that are heavily regulated and provide essential services for society – meaning that digital platforms should be considered as a new and much more powerful type of infrastructure and will require regulation accordingly.
A global audience of policy makers, public authorities, consultants, lawyers, students, and academics, as well as anyone with an interest in these digital platforms, will find this book enlightening and essential reading.