Telecommunications represents the new urban infrastructure. What water, road and rail have represented as primary networks to previous economic eras, telecommunications now represents to the information economy of advanced societies. Telecommunications is the primary vehicle for information exchange that precedes, or accompanies, virtually all economic transactions: banking (automatic teller machines), shopping (electronic funds transfer-point of sale), ordering goods (electronic data exchange), messaging, facsimile, electronic-mail. As telecommunications networks evolve during the 1990s into digital broadband services, a capability will exist, for the first time, for all forms of information (voice, data, text and image) to be transmitted globally in real time. Telecommunications will continue to become increasingly integrated with the other key economic transactions involving knowledge, resources, goods and services. The increasing significance of telecommunications to economic activity is due to two key trends: the emergence of societies that are information and knowledge-based, and the emergence of a global economy.
Special issue 5 (Feb 1992), p. 54-75