Restructuring Telecommunications: A Transformation without Boundaries
Until recently, telecommunications (telecom) has been a rather arcane, obscure, and uninteresting field. In the last few years however, a technological revolution in conjunction with radical transformations in the international economy have brought telecoms to the center of the political stage throughout the world. Governments talk today about telecommunications, information infrastructure, and electronic highways much as they did about nuclear weapons, arms control, and foreign relations during the Cold War. This chapter briefly explores the principles around which the sector functioned until recently. It discusses some of the key forces that drove reform in more developed countries (MDCs), and it presents the differences in the reform process between MDCs and less developed countries (LDCs). It also describes recent events in LDCs telecom reform, and lays out the question around which this study is organized.