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   The Economist of September 30-October 6 has a long survey
   of global telecommunications, excellently researched
   and written:

      The death of distance as a determinant of the cost of
      communications will probably be the single most
      important economic force shaping society in the first
      half of the next century. It will alter, in ways that
      are only dimly imaginable, decisions about where people
      live and work; concepts of national borders; patterns of
      international trade. Its effects will be as pervasive as
      those of the discovery of electricity.

   Buy it, see it at http://www.economist.com, or, in a pinch:

   HUL_loo  (92 kb in 6 parts)