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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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Universal access and universal service: An overview

Universal service has been an implicit telecommunication policy objective in most countries. In the last decade, a growing number of governments have made their universal service policies more explicit - going so far, in some cases, as to design their entire market structures based partially on the ability of those market structures to deliver universal services or, at least universal access. The liberalization of telecommunications markets through the introduction of competition is changing the way countries approach universal service and universal access policies. This is due, in part, to the fact that services are being provisioned at a more rapid pace, prices are falling and new and innovative services are being introduced.

English

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