Telecommunications and Universal Service: International Experience in the Context of South African Policy Reform
The services delivered over telecommunications networks can provide enormous opportunities today: for education, for health care, for income generation, and for access to, and communication with, all levels of government. To benefit, countries must find ways to deliver such services to their entire populations in an affordable way and using technologies — and supporting systems — that enable effective use.
This publication suggests some approaches to the delivery of universal service. What institutional, financial and technological arrangements have been tried elsewhere, and how successful have they been? Are they more effective with a monopoly or in a competitive environment? How does international experience compare with the efforts undertaken in South Africa? Telecommunications and Universal Service was prepared in the context of a national effort in South Africa to develop a telecommunications policy that would balance the aims of economic growth and social justice. It will be of interest to scholars, researchers, students, and practitioners in information sciences and development studies.
Seán Ó Siochrú Research Director of NEXUS Research Cooperative in Ireland.