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Memoria e Ricerca

Between Monopoly and Free Market. The History of French Telephony

di Pascal Griset
in Memoria e Ricerca n.s. 5 (2000), p. 93

The history of French telephony deals with two opposite government-controlled options: monopoly and free market. Established in 1837, for a century and a half monopoly represented the datum legislative cadre. This essay follows its stages, underlining the governative approaches towards private companies and focusing on the establishments of the first manufacturing industries which supplied the equipments. For a long time, the lack of investments in national telephony restrained its same development. Only with a great delay the involvement of the nation in relation to research, combined with a decisive financial contribution, allowed the French industry to recover and to gain an important share in the international market. During the 1970’s and 1980’s French telecommunications knew an unparalleled evolution and in a few years France closed the former gap.