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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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Telecentres as public access strategies

This chapter explores the options policy-makers have for fostering and supporting “multipurpose community telecentres” (MCTs) as key resources for community access to basic and advanced ICT services. The concept of community-based telecentres has recently gained widespread attention as a strategic response to the chronic lack of access to information and communication technologies and services in the developing world. While telecentres are not an entirely new idea, there is currently a strong emphasis on this policy option, which may offer an encouraging approach to overcoming the wide disparities of access in the Information Age. MCTs represent an opportunity to enable societies and historically disadvantaged regions and populations to participate more fully in local, national and global social and economic life.

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