10th Anniversary T...

10th Anniversary Telecommunications Regulation Handbook

The essential resource for regulators
Communications are an essential means for reaching the "Bottom of the Pyramid" and enabling individuals to reduce poverty and improve the quality of their lives. We currently live in a world in which more Africans have access to a mobile phone than to any other utility or infrastructure service. This widespread technological dissemination creates new opportunities across all segments of society, but also presents new challenges requiring adaptable strategies.
The World Bank is pleased to make available the Tenth Edition of the Telecommunications Regulation Handbook, both as a resource and as a collaborative platform. These tools benefit the individuals entrusted with creating both a level playing field for and an environment in which communications can reach its potential as a powerful enabling tool for supporting innovation and achieving inclusive sustainable development.

Today‘s communications landscape is vastly different from the environment in which we developed the first Telecommunications Regulation Handbook ten years ago.

  • Competitive and open communications markets have created opportunities in countries that previously lagged behind.
  • Competitively priced and technologically varied service offerings have allowed businesses to compete and thrive globally.
However, there are still serious market gaps (such as providing widespread high speed broadband services at affordable prices and connectivity to remote areas), that, when coupled with evolving and converging technologies, pose challenges to policymakers and regulators.

Technology is changing telecommunications markets by merging, converging and re-organizing them from the inside-out. The future of telecommunications is being written by SMS and Internet Protocol, as well as by traditional packet-switching, and implemented in applications that tie platforms together, creating services we could not have predicted but on which we have come to depend.

Communications technologies alone, however, will not drive the innovation that the developing world needs. The World Bank Group supports the Telecommunications Regulation Handbook because this essential guide can assist policymakers in evaluating policy options and deciding on appropriate regulations. Their efforts can support thriving economies by allowing individuals to exercise their own ingenuity to lift themselves and their countries out of poverty. As a result of the rapid rate of technological development, business innovation and changes in social attitudes continue to push communications in unpredictable, innovative directions. Well-trained, informed and independent individuals in ministries, regulatory agencies, companies and universities play a critical role in shaping the future of the communications landscape, thereby creating more opportunities for open collaboration, innovation and economic growth.



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About the Telecommunications Regulation Handbook

Foreword

Table of contents

Chapter 1 - The big picture: Introduction to telecommunications regulation

Chapter 2 - A level playing field: regulating for effective competition

Chapter 3 - Growing the market: licensing and authorizing services

Chapter 4 - Going mobile: managing the spectrum

Chapter 5 - From capacity to connectivity: network access and interconnection

Chapter 6 - From availability to use: universal access and service

Chapter 7 - A digital future: regulatory challenges in a brave new world

Appendix A - World Trade Organization reference paper on basic telecommunications

Glossary

Endnotes

References

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