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Theodore N. Vail

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Theodore Newton Vail was a U.S. telephone industrialist. His philosophy of using closed systems, centralized power, and as much network control as possible, in order to maintain monopoly power, has been called Vailism.

Born in Minerva, Ohio, he served as the president of AT&T between 1885 and 1889, and again from 1907 to 1919 . He convinced President Woodrow Wilson that the telephone as a medium of communication would spread more rapidly if it was brought under one monopoly so as to ensure uniform provision of services throughout the country. He called this "one system, one policy, universal service". This was formalised in the form of the Kingsbury Commitment of 1913.

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