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Policy options for the new telecommunications

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This report was commissioned to examine the policy choices and regulatory mechanisms for telecommunication infrastructure and services that will be needed to achieve the European Union’s (EU) goal of acquiring a leading position in the Information Society. The need for political action at the European level has been recognised if the social, cultural, political and economic benefits of the investment in information and communication superhighways is to be realised. This report aims to distinguish between techno-economic myths and realistic options that are available to the policy and regulatory communities. This requires a special focus on the trends that are occurring in decision making control over the design, construction and use of the telecommunication infrastructure and services. The first section of the report introduces the main challenges facing the market players and the various stakeholders and highlights the main features of two models of market development: the Idealist and the Strategic models. Section 2.0 provides an overview of recent technological and market developments among the players in markets for information and communication networks and services. Section 3.0 considers these developments in the light of the Idealist and Strategic models of telecommunication evolution. Section 4.0 outlines key issues for policy makers and regulators including specific recommendations for reform of policy making institutions and actions to achieve the goals of constructing the Information Society in Europe.

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