In early 1970 President Richard M. Nixon created a new executive office, the Office of Telecommunications Policy (OTP), and appointed Dr. Clay T. Whitehead as OTP's first director. (Whitehead had previously been on the staff of Peter Flanigan, a presidential assistant responsible for telecommunications policy at the White House.) What was the motivation behind this action? Were political interests being served? With what results? Thomas Will believes that these and other questions must be raised in view of the history of the Nixon administration. In an attempt to answer them, he examines the development of telecommunications policy in the executive branch from 1900 to 1970. Dr. Will reviews the early executive branch involvement in radio telecommunications, the Radio Act of 1927 and the Communications Act of 1934, the technological advance of radio telecommunications and its effect on the executive branch before and after World War II, the. appointments of telecommunications advisors to presidents from 1951 to 1967, and the creation of the President's Task Force in 1967 to deal with the problems created by an inherently limited radio spectrum. He traces the steps taken to create the OTP and analyzes the extent to which the office reflected a traditional progression of executive branch telecommunications authority. His study and conclusions are directly and essentially relevant to the current debate on telecommunications policy.
Table of Contents
Westview Replica Editions -- The Growth of Radio, 1900-1948 -- Presidential Telecommunication Advisors, 1949-1958 -- Telecommunication Structure and Management in the Executive Branch of Government, 1959-1967 -- The President's Task Force on Communications Policy, 1967-1968 -- The Nixon Years, 1969-1970 -- Letters and Interviews
Thomas E. Will is associate publisher of Telecommunications magazine. He was previously a policy analyst with the Office of Telecommunications, U.S. Department of Commerce. Dr. Will holds a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin.