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Network Neutrality

Switzerland’s role in the genesis of the Telegraph Union, 1855–1875

Gabriele Balbi, Simone Fari, Giuseppe Richeri and Spartaco Calvo

This book uses new sources to indepth the early history of the Telegraph Union (today the International Telecommunication Union) and focuses on the key role – political, diplomatic, economic and technical – Switzerland played in promoting its birth and managing its structures during the ten years preceding and following its creation (1855–1875). The history of the ITU tends to be neglected in telecommunication history and the role of Switzerland in its formation and management has been largely overlooked. This is surprising for three reasons: first, it was (and still is) the seat of the Bureau; second, until World War Two the secretary was a Swiss national; finally, the Bureau was under the direct control of the Swiss government. The main statement of this book is that the political economy of Switzerland, based on neutrality, diplomacy, internationalism and technical expertise, exerted a decisive influence over the origins of the ITU.
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Bibliographic information published by die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the Deutsche Nationalbibliografie; detailed bibliographic data is available on the Internet at ‹›.

British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data: A catalogue record for this book is available from The British Library, Great Britain

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

This book is a collective effort of the research group involved in the Swiss National Fund project “The Swiss Influence in the ITU’s decision-making process 1865-1914”. Hypotheses, sources and ideas were discussed collectively, while the chapters were written individually. Giuseppe Richeri wrote the Introduction, Spartaco Calvo Chapter 1, Simone Fari Chapter 6, and Gabriele Balbi Chapter 2, 3, 4, 5 and the Conclusion.

Earlier versions of some segments have already appeared in academic journals. Specifically, a previous version of chapter 1 was published in French in the Revue Suisse d’Histoire 61(4) in 2011; some elements of chapter 2 appeared in ICON 15 in 2009 and an abstract of the main topics of this book was published both in Italian and in English in Tst: Transportes, Servicios y telecomunicaciones 25 and Journal of European Integration History 19(2) in 2013.

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