This work examines the political choices that surround the new technologies of telecommunications and broadcasting, and focuses on the essential issues of who determines how they are implemented and why, as well as who benefits from them. In its study of the distributional potential of these technologies, the book concentrates on the political and economic interests that are in conflict over the possibilities, and, in particular, on the ways in which the American and European governments have attempted to innovate, organize, and control information technology, telecommunications, and broadcasting. The technological innovation backed by industrialized governments, the authors contend, has largely served political and military interests rather than those of the general population. Written from the perspective of the individual citizen, the book argues that the emphasis by governments on industrial leadership has preempted concern for access, information, and accountability. Among the issues discussed are the impact that the globalization of industry is having on national sovereignty; the evolution of three international trading blocs through the standardization of high definition television and digital networks; the politics of cable and satellite transmission; and the convergence of broadcasting and telecommunications. This work offers a unique linkage between telecommunications, broadcasting, and information technology, and it argues that governments have lost sight of the informational underpinnings of the democratic process. Students of politics, international relations, political economy, and media studies will find this book to be an invaluable resource.