Telecommunications Regulatory Issues for Electronic Commerce

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The eighth Colloquium examined the role that the telecommunications policy maker and regulator could most usefully play in the development of electronic commerce. While there is an already enormous and growing literature on e-commerce, relatively little attention has been paid to the link between e-commerce and telecommunication regulation. In addition, relatively little attention has been paid to providing guidance to telecom officials in developing countries on this link. The analysis in this Briefing Report is intended to help fill this gap.



International electronic commerce policy issues and initiatives

In recent years, telecommunications policy and regulation issues have often been limited to the periphery of various international conferences and position papers on the development of global electronic commerce. The principal emphasis of international deliberations and negotiations involves a wide range of other issues, in the areas of commercial, legal, technical, and social norms, that can affect the viability and effectiveness of electronic commerce on many levels. In part, this emphasis appears to reflect a bias of the participants in most recent policy symposia: mainly representatives of large, well developed economies, in which telecommunications infrastructure is highly advanced and widely available, and regulatory reforms are typically well under way.


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