Published online by Cambridge University Press: 02 January 2007
This article analyses the spread of public utilities and urban development through a wide-ranging comparison of European cities. It considers variables that are not simply demand-based to explain the diffusion of the telephone. The article explores the relationship between variables, city size, position in the urban hierarchy, urban growth and the function of the city in relation to the spread of the telephone. It concludes that the scale and the function of the city, together with the terms of concession and management strategies, were crucial for the diffusion of the telephone throughout Europe's cities.
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