References (119)



Telecommunications Regulation and the Global Digital Divide

Rob Nicholls

Swinburne University of Technology; Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR)

September 26, 2005

The liberal-market model for telecommunications regulation is designed to promote access to voice telecommunications and is unlikely to improve internet access. As such, the liberal-market regulatory model will not enable countries to bridge the digital divide. The application of this model in least developed countries is widening the global digital divide by increasing the inequality of access to the information society in those countries compared with developed countries. The paper quantifies the scope and extent of the global digital divide by way of comparison of access to the internet in member states of the OECD and those states defined by the United Nations to be least developed countries (LDCs). The paper contrasts the statist Posts Telegraphs and Telecommunications regulatory regime with the neoliberal, market-based, privatisation approach for which the International Financial Institutions and the World Trade Organization act as agent of dissemination. The paper examines the dissemination of neoliberal policy frameworks from the wealthy North to the poorer South and sets out the limitations of these frameworks. There is a review of the role of the community of consultants created by the operation of the international financial institutions and their actions as agents. The paper shows that the regulatory policies disseminated improve access to voice telephony services but access to the internet (and the information society) has not increased nearly so significantly in LDCs. The particular kinds of solution imposed by international financial institutions reinforce some of the inequalities that they are intended to reduce. The paper advances some policy alternatives which are designed to remedy some of these problems.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 44

Keywords: digital divide, regulation, development

JEL Classification: E61

Open PDF in Browser Download This Paper

Date posted: March 10, 2006  

Suggested Citation

Nicholls, Rob, Telecommunications Regulation and the Global Digital Divide (September 26, 2005). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=888842 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.888842

Contact Information

Rob Nicholls (Contact Author)
Swinburne University of Technology ( email )
PO Box 218
Hawthorn, Victoria 3122
+61412646477 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://www.swinburne.edu.au/research/our-research/access-our-research/find-a-researcher-or-superviso
Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) ( email )
Level 7, UNSW CBD Campus
1 O'Connell Street
Sydney, NSW 2000
+61412646477 (Phone)

Feedback to SSRN

Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 1,608
Downloads: 277
Download Rank: 70,441
References:  119

© 2015 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo8 in 0.578 seconds