The previous chapters found the character of the Mexican telecommunications reform to be largely explained by its political institutions and the policy context in which it took place. This chapter investigates whether Mexico is a unique case, or if the nature of political institutions and policy context determines the character of reform in other national cases.
The deregulation processes of the United States, New Zealand, and Brazil will be studied. The selection of cases responds to the need of contrasting considerably different policy choices in telecommunications reforms. These three countries offer contrasting experiences to each other and to Mexico. New Zealand and Brazil’s first attempt to reform offer two extreme cases for comparison. On the one hand, New Zealand’s telecom reform resulted in one of the most deregulated industries in the world, as the government allowed the market to regulate this sector’s activities. On the other hand, Brazil’s initial attempt to reform its telecommunications sector failed and in a different policy context a second effort was successful. The United States’ telecommunications reform lies between these two extremes; it deregulated its sector while sustaining a strong regulatory agency to supervise its activities.
These differences in policy choices cannot be accounted for by technology, as these countries all faced the same international level of technological innovations. 1 By examining a range of national policy choices in telecommunications reform, a connection between differences in countries’ policy reforms and differences in their political conditions will be established.
The examination of these three national cases focused on the nature of the political institutions in which telecommunications reform was embedded. And the development of the telecommunications industry, in each