cr> Europe is struggling too…


...with deregulation, technological progress, and universal service in

(I am speaking for myself here, not as moderator.)

The Economic Community is trying to break down the state-mandated
monopolies that currently offer telecom in most European countries.
They want to allow companies to offer services in different countries.
If anything, the upheavals caused by this policy will be even more
wrenching and hard to implement than in the U.S., because national
borders are involved and companies are used to being the only game in

Judgint from everything I've heard (although I may be hearing only the
free-market side) government-sponsored telco's in Europe have acted as
a brake on both technological progress and price reductions.  It looks
like opening the market up to competition is good for the public here.
Still, the countries have to deal with a big collection of issues that
sound unsurprisingly like the ones that arose with the U.S. Telecom
Bill and its current implementation by the FCC:

    Universal service--how do you further this goal when companies
    have a tendency to pick off the most lucrative markets?

    Ensuring fairness in the face of hidden subsidies--if one company
    is required to support users who offer a low rate of return, how
    can it prevent another company from undercutting it in the
    lucrative high-return markets?

    Facilities--should companies rent telephone lines from their
    competitors?  And if this is the best way to provide competition,
    how do you prevent the providers from practicing monopolistic

And more.  If you want to see a draft document from the EC (long, but
fairly readable) email me.


 Posted by Andrew Oram  - •••@••.••• - Moderator: CYBER-RIGHTS (CPSR)
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