Sola Pool raises the issue of the importance of lifting barriers restricting the flow of international communication. As technology advances, new forms of exchange of information surface. The last century bore witness to the emergence and popularization of rapid-fire means of communication, such as TV and radio. In response to such developments, governments attempt to pursue their own interests, specifically, finding ways to control the exchange of information. As a result, monopolies form, which prevent foreign competitors from effectively operating in local media.
There are definitive benefits governments and societies can reap by lifting the barriers. Monopolizing a news industry does not incentivize the development of the press. Sola Pool writes that there was “a marked decline in the liveliness of the press” when India attempted such a solution (146). An opposite result was achieved in the United States when it used “foreign imports” to resolve the inadequacies of its own film industry (145). Altogether, Sola Pool believes that competition is a means to prosperity when national barriers do not hinder communication.
In my opinion, the Theory of Comparative Advantage is an extension of the basic economic rules. It is generally accepted that competition in any sphere bolsters development and new ideas. The only difference in the case of the realm of international communication is that it is less regulated. Sola Pool himself acknowledges that “there is a growing attempt to codify international law about it [international communication]” (109). Therefore, his theory is not actually new, but it does showcase international communication in a new light.
Pool, Ithiel de Sola. Technologies Without Boundaries: on Telecommunications in a Global Age. Harvard University Press, 1990.