The Information Society Merges onto the Information Superhighway
This chapter compares American and European understandings of the Internet—primarily those articulated through policy—and investigates how they functioned, how they converged and diverged, and how they were mapped across national boundaries. For much of the 1990s, member-states of the European Union regulated Internet technology using nationalist and protectionist models used to regulate other media. The chapter shows how these policies were produced and helped produce a discourse that imagined the growth and influence of the Internet as a choice rather than an inevitability, as it was imagined in the United States. These statist policies however did not last due to the introduction of the eEurope 2005 Project, which adopted policies that promoted competition, entrepreneurialism, and innovation. Therefore Europe did not lose its national identity in a wave of Americanization. Rather, it engaged in “self-colonization” by adopting U.S. economic tactics to Europeanize the Internet.
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