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2003 Trends in Telecommunication Reform 2003

Promoting Universal Access to ICTs. Practical tools for regulators

image of Trends in Telecommunication Reform 2003

The fifth edition of Trends in Telecommunication Reform explores the tools regulators can use to promote universal access/service. The report provides an overview of universal access/service, the role of sector reform, creation and operation of a universal service fund, the role of minimum subsidy auction, how consumer tariffs and interconnection rates affect the viability of rural universal access/service projects, public access strategies including telecentres, and how regulators can foster entrepreneurial solutions to rural access. The report is structured into eight chapters.

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The ICT sector faces reality

The global telecommunication sector has been through a series of shocks during the past few years. Troubles began in the spring of 2000, when high-technology share values around the world slid and, in some cases, crashed. The decline in many publicly traded telecommunication stocks was compounded by the high value placed on “third generation” (3G) mobile licences. When investors in developed countries realized that the price of these licences - plus the cost of installing the networks - would place many leading telecommunication firms in debt, reality set in and stock prices tumbled further. Adding to these woes was a series of financial scandals and bankruptcies among major telecommunication firms, such as WorldCom and Global Crossing. Meanwhile, shocks that were external to the sector - the events of 11 September 2001, the Severe Acquired Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) epidemic and the war in Iraq - have added to the pessimism.

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