In this chapter, we describe the digitalization of telecommunications and the profound changes it has produced. We navigate the evolution of telecommunications networks from single-purpose legacy infrastructures customized to deliver a voice telephony service towards an ecosystem fuelled by converged general-purpose broadband networks that spur innovation and deliver an evolving array of content and applications. In doing so, we will explain developments concerning the Internet and the emerging ecosystem surrounding it. On this journey, we will encounter and explain paradigm-shifting technologies and changes that have thoroughly disrupted the hierarchies, industry structures, and revenue sharing conventions that characterized the era of legacy telecommunications. Thus, we aim to provide a nuanced understanding of the significant challenges, both current and future, associated with the Internet and to derive meaningful insights from this knowledge.
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