Related to this question: > 1. What specific elements does a policy environment need in order to > encourage the private sector to expand access to poor, isolated, > underserved areas? Where do such policies exist?
I just came across the latest issue of Telematics and Informatics <http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/07365853> - Volume 21, Issue 1 - Telecommunications Development in Africa. Besides offering some real empirical research (how refreshing!), there is an excellent article titled "The Washington Consensus' in relation to the telecommunication sector in African developing countries" by Jorn Stovring. Here are a few snippets below, but I strongly encourage people interested in universal access to give this article and the entire issue a read. What the Washington Consensus paper points to, from my perspective, is the critical importance of civil society involvement in national telecom policy and regulatory reform - and the role of donors in building the capacity of civil society organizations, particularly those with rural constituencies (such as farmer organizations and rural NGOs). ..<snip>... "...The actual practices--e.g. using the public operator as a domain for extended family employment, siphoning operator surplus off through sub delivery contracts, political-administrative use of communication without pay, etc.--are difficult to document, but the cumulative effects are clearly a lower performance than if the [incumbent operator] had been managed on strict commercial conditions in a market context. "Transparency on a level playing field is also necessary for deregulation to obtain the benefits of competition. For these forces, to work they must be implemented within capable regulatory frameworks. In a context of neo-patrimonial practices, the rationale simply does not work as in a situation based on good governance premises. Typically, the dominant elite or the main operator may have long established relations to the state department and may try to capture regulatory reform processes." "What sets the mobile cellular sub sector apart was the introduction of market forces in the form of competition. The construction of duopoly and oligopoly has in a number of countries resulted in competition. The market dynamics were established through the introduction of a number of new entrants... The fact that more players have been introduced into the once docile monopoly area is going to strengthen the regulatory institutions. The mobile cellular operators are (mostly) united in the need for a level playing field and transparent relations to the main operator. Over time, the plurality of players will strengthen regulatory institutions. Thus, even in structures and institutions with elements of patrimonial practices, the market dynamic may curb such effects." ..<snip>... Don Richardson ------------ This DOT-COM Discussion is funded by the dot-ORG USAID Cooperative Agreement, and hosted by GKD. http://www.dot-com-alliance.org provides more information. To post a message, send it to: <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> To subscribe or unsubscribe, send a message to: <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>. In the 1st line of the message type: subscribe gkd OR type: unsubscribe gkd For the GKD database, with past messages: http://www.GKDknowledge.org