Assignment | Public Policy law and Ethics in INT

1) Research and explain the Hush-a-Phone case.
2) Research and explain the Carterfone incident in telecommunications history .
3)When MCI sought Permission to offer microwave service between Chicago and St.Louis , AT&T charged that this would effectively be cream skimming. Why ?

Model Answer


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Hush-A-Phone Case

            Hush-A-Phone was a device that was invented by Tom Carter which was attached to the telephone to ensure speaker’s privacy. The gadget was devised in such a way that it enabled the call maker to speak in whispers and the listening party to get very clear information. It was credited for its ability to reduce noise in offices and making it possible to make calls in noisy areas. By then the main corporation that provided telephone services …. to exercise monopoly powers in all their dealings apart from dictating prices and making policies, which were left within the jurisdiction of Federal Communication Commission (FCC). Over the years competition was hindered by the Communication Acts and in particular the 1934 Act that gave AT&T a lot of powers. Therefore, AT&T Corporation had the overall right to dictate the changes to be made in the whole telephone industry. However, in 1948 Hush-A-Phone started complaining to Federal Communication Commission but it took six….

            It was in 1956 that Tom Carter moved to court seeking the lift of the ban that prohibited interference of the telephone industry by competitors.  He wanted his devise to be legalized and to be allowed to have overall control over it. After the case was hard by the D.C court of appeal the ban was lifted and … he prices and to make policies for its products. It also marked beginning of an era where competition in the  communication sector was legalized in the major cities of America. The case was referred to as the Hash-A-Phone versus Federal Communication Commission.

Carterfone Incident in the Telecommunication History

            Carterfone established a remarkable change in the telecommunication industry through the filing of cases that challenged the authorities in the communication sector. After winning the 1956 case that allowed attachment of foreign gadgets on the telephone they made an outstanding change in the whole sector. Competitors had the chance to challenge AT&T and hence improving the quality of the services in the American soil. If it were not for the efforts of Carterfone company AT&T could be the sole supplier of all the modems, answering machines and telephones in all the major cities of United…

MCI and AT&T

             AT&T had enjoyed the protection of the government in the telecommunication industry for decades and hence had developed a feeling that no other company should be allowed to provide similar services in all the cities of America. After losing a case on the Hush-A-Phone issue the corporation became better and could not take such interference kindly anymore. When the Microwave Communications Inc was established back in 1963 it had one major plan of building microwave centers between St Louis, Missouri and Chicago, Illinois. The mission by the MCI was seen by AT&T as cream skimming because in their opinion MCI was going to capture the high residential accounts…                                                              

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