Regulation and the Performance of Communication and Information Networks
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Regulation and the Performance of Communication and Information Networks

Edited by Gerald R. Faulhaber, Gary Madden and Jeffrey Petchey

Digital markets worldwide are in rapid flux. The Internet and World Wide Web have traditionally evolved in a largely deregulated environment, but recently governments have shown great interest in this rapidly developing sector and are imposing regulations for a variety of reasons that are changing the shape of these industries. This book explores why the industrial organization of broadband ISPs, Internet backbone providers and content/application providers are in such turmoil.
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Chapter 2: Beyond Traditional Regulatory Models: Emerging Governance for New Networks

Rob Albon


Rob Albon INTRODUCTION This chapter considers the evolution of regulatory and governance arrangements for information and communications technology (ICT) across major Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Member Countries.1 Three phases of reform are recognized. In the first phase (during the 1980s), independent regulatory institutions are established (or modified) and commercial operations (other than in the United States and Canada where operation are private) are corporatized. Prior to this, outside North America, telecommunications are operated as politicized governmentowned statutory monopolies where governance is typically internalized in government departments that both operate and regulate telecommunications. The second phase occurred as mobile networks emerged during the 1990s, digital subscriber line (DSL) technology breathed new life into traditional copper, and an element of convergence occurred between information technology (IT), broadcasting and telecommunications. Driven by technological imperatives, regulatory and governance arrangements more generally are typically reviewed, with a tendency toward formation of communications-sector-wide regulatory institutions, often with clearer links to competition and antitrust institutions. The third round of institutional and design change is currently taking place, and relates particularly to government desires in a number of countries to establish high-speed broadband networks with substantial ubiquitous geographic coverage. Existing regulatory and governance institutions established to cope with more 39 40 Regulation and performance of communication and information networks competitive circumstances are not always ideally equipped to address all the necessary issues associated with government broadband objectives. LIBERALISATION AND INDEPENDENT REGULATION OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS IN THE 1980s AND EARLY1990s Telecommunications reform began in the 1980s and...

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