The Socioeconomic Impact of Reform
Based on the experience of both developing and developed countries, this chapter explores the initial effects that privatization and liberalization of telecom markets have had on consumers, labor, the state, service providers, and equipment suppliers. The analysis covers the period 1989-92 and early reform outcomes are presented and analyzed against the backdrop of preprivatization arguments and expectations.
To attempt an assessment of the early impact of privatization and liberalization constitutes a challenging task because "when one wrestles with privatization in the concrete rather than the abstract, its implications often appear to be complex and uncertain" ( Ramamurti 1991, 8). The analysis is further complicated because privatization and liberalization--processes with different roots, features, and goals--tend to overlap and affect each other in a very dynamic way. Thus, complexity and uncertainty are intrinsic to reform outcomes and are unmistakably apparent in the cases studied here.
It is also important to keep in mind that, due to the variety of economic, social, and political changes during the last decade in certain of the less developed countries (LDCS) studied here, one should be careful when attributing socioeconomic effects to telecom reform. There are certain economic factors-- such as structural adjustment programs, economic liberalization, new local and