Indian Broadband Policy and Regulatory Resources

Policies for Market Entry

The regulators and policy makers plan to open up market for competition. There are various ways to authorize a new service entering the market. Public-private partnerships, unrestricted market strategy for all networks and services, phased market opening etc. The regulators normally hold public consultations for development of the strategies and to set out considerations for market players and customers.

In the ICT sector there is a growing consensus that in the absence of demand for scarce resources, freedom to entry should be unrestricted and the market should be allowed to decide the number of players. However, in case of scarce resources the number of players should be limited only by the availability of the resource and in the case where demand exceeds supply, market methods should be adopted to allocate the resource. The regulator and government should also consider the market in order to decide the optimal number of players. For example in case of mobile licenses many countries are of the opinion that four is an optimal number both in terms of healthy competition and viability of business. In Pakistan and Bangladesh fifth and sixth operators remain struggling. It is a similar situation in both India and Indonesia as well.

Country Studies

Hong Kong, China- Liberalization of Fixed Networks Consultation Document – The Hong Kong Office of the Telecommunications Authority (OFTA) issued the attached consultation paper in October 2001. In this consultation paper, OFTA solicited comments about proposed plans for the liberalization of the local and external fixed telecommunications network services (FTNS) markets.

Links

Developing Market entry policies – This section considers different approaches used to open markets through the authorization of new ICT services and networks. The authorization approach and process adopted by a country depends on national and regional sector policies, laws and market structure. 

Public Private Partnerships – This link gives a selection of the many PPP examples in the telecommunications and ICT which exist internationally.

Transparency – Procedural transparency is one of the hallmarks of a good authorization process. Transparency increases the confidence of service providers, investors and other stakeholders in the authorization process. Accordingly, transparency reduces investment risk and increases the attractiveness of investment in national ICT markets. 

 

Articles

 

The Internet Should Be a Public Good

Encouraging Public Private Partnerships in the utilities sector: The role of development assistance – The forms public-private partnerships (PPP) in developing countries have taken are legion, ranging from the construction of physical infrastructure, to public administration, to the provision of health and social services. (A frequently quoted example of the latter is foreign-owned companies’ partnership with the South African government to provide treatment of HIV/AIDS.) The focus of this article, however, is on physical infrastructure. 

How strong is the case for the fiscal exceptionalism of the telecommunications sector? – Telecommunications are subject to exceptional fiscal treatment in respect of both taxes and subsidies. Services are subject to special taxes in many jurisdictions; and special subsidies are paid to finance investments, especially in new fibre networks. The paper analyses the validity in general of both of these forms of treatment. In many jurisdictions the ground for collecting special taxes seems to hinge, especially in developing countries, upon the relatively low costs of tax collection. However, special taxes may discourage diffusion and restrict growth. 

Nigeria’s Internet growth in 2014 peaked at 52% –  Telecommunications has remained a key driver of the Nigerian economy since it was liberalized in 2001. The Minister of Communication Technology, Dr. Omobola Johnson disclosed below at a press briefing to mark the 2015 World Telecommunications and Information Society Day.

Before August 2001, Nigeria had a combined fixed and mobile telephone subscription of just over 400,000 lines since independence in 1960, but in just 14 years after the licensing of the mobile operators, Nigeria’s telephone subscription, which is dominated mainly by mobile lines, is over 148 million connected lines with a tele-density of 96.8 per cent