Andrew Odlyzko, The History of Communications and Its Implications for the Internet (AT&T 2000) (full-text).
The Internet is the latest in a long succession of communication technologies. The goal of this work is to draw lessons from the evolution of all these services. The stress is on the steady growth in volume of communication, the evolution in the type of traffic sent, the qualitative change this growth produces in how people treat communication, and the evolution of pricing. The focus is on the user, and in particular on how quality and price differentiation have been used by service providers to influence consumer behavior, and how consumers have reacted.