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How Privatization and Competition Freed the Web: New at Reason

In 1991, the internet was one data communications protocol among many competitors, and it served less than 2 percent of the population. Twenty-five years later, the internet protocol is the lingua franca of the global digital economy; nearly 4 billion people worldwide depend on it.

Dozens of books, academic papers, and magazine articles describe different aspects of that change, but we’ve long needed a comprehensive history that synthesizes them into a single narrative. Milton Mueller reports that Shane Greenstein’s How the Internet Became Commercial is an imperfect but noteworthy attempt to fill that gap.

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