1998 General Trends in Telecommunication Reform 1998

World, Volume I

image of General Trends in Telecommunication Reform 1998

The report provides an overview of the telecommunication regulatory reforms and trends worldwide. Specific regulatory issues are analyzed and compared by region. This report comprises six chapters. The first chapter is dedicated to a general worldwide overview of regulatory trends. Chapters 2-6 address each region (Africa, Americas, Arab States, Asia-Pacific and Europe). All six chapters are focused on new legislation, the rise of regulatory agencies, ownership reforms, competition trends, regulatory matters and regional and international cooperation.




In the past decade, many countries in the Americas region have attempted to privatize their operators, introduce some level of competition and establish separate regulatory bodies. Not all have succeeded in their ambitious attempts to reform, but the overall results are encouraging. Governments in the region have overwhelmingly recognized the importance of telecommunications to economic development. This was made clear at the 1996 Senior Officials meeting called for by the 1995 Summit of the Americas. It was further demonstrated at the recent conclusion of the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Group on Basic Telecommunications (GBT), where 23 countries from the Americas region, out of the 72 countries that signed the agreement, made liberalization commitments. The Caribbean countries reaffirmed this in the 1997 Bridgetown Declaration, where it was recognized that “access to modern telecommunications is indispensable to the development of international trade as well as to national and regional, social and economic development and security


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