The role of telecommunications from an Inter-American perspective has been influenced both by the historical ties between the United States, Canada and the countries of Central and South America, as well as the importance of telecommunications systems to the functioning of the state (→ II/38) since the invention of each medium to the present. The development of telecommunications across the Americas reveals several key Inter-American themes that are related to classic North American and Latin American historical issues, as well as newer emerging ones, including the power of U.S. models, the impact of U.S. and European foreign investment (→ Transnational Corporations, II/23), nationalism and nationalization of foreign assets, the power of global development models (→ Development, II/6), the impact of Neo-Liberalism (→ II/16) and related privatizations (→ II/17), the convergence of telecommunications, Internet-based and mobile-based media and forms of expression (→ Social Media, III/41), and new forms of mobile communication, such as WhatsApp, heavily used by those who do not necessarily have access to the Internet.