2003 Trends in Telecommunication Reform 2003

Promoting Universal Access to ICTs. Practical tools for regulators

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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.



A world of options for universality

The desire to bring the benefits of telecommunication and ICT services within reach of every human being is not new. Indeed, one could argue that this core objective has been at the heart of telecommunication policy since 1876. Whether through the nationalization of public telephone administrations or the regulation of private-sector monopolies, the goal has been to maximize the public benefits of constructing as comprehensive a network as possible. As governments began to abandon the natural monopoly argument during the final quarter of the last century, one of their chief concerns was the survival and enhancement of mechanisms designed to construct and maintain ubiquitous networks.


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