A Quarter Century of Telecom Reform in Europe - Assessing Performance and Prospects
Beginning with the Green Paper in 1987, the EU has been engaged in a continuing program of telecom reform centered round liberalizing access to telecom and ICT markets through pro-competition policies implemented via National Regulatory Authorities (NRA). The goal has been to create seamless European-wide markets as a foundation for common markets in other economic sectors. After a quarter century of reforms, it is timely to take stock of progress to date and examine the range of possible ways forward.
It is obvious that the former structure of protected national telecom monopolies has been transformed into a more diversified market structure. But the establishment of seamless European-wide markets still seems a long way off. The existence of significant market power (SMP) is the dominant characteristic of most markets. The desired investments for the digital economy/broadband era do not seem to be forthcoming from these partially competitive markets.
Do these developments reflect the maturation of liberalization policy and suggest that other policy tools are needed to achieve the goal of seamless European markets? Do they reflect that, in practice, the implementation of liberalization policy via NRAs has not yet achieved its goals, and strengthened sector regulation is the primary need? Or are there other explanations?
This Conference will bring together the experience of participants in the telecom reform process and the results of research on the issues to examine the current status and future possibilities for the telecom reform initiative in Europe.
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