Business Separation in Telecommunications: Lessons from the U.S. Experience

33 Pages Posted: 8 May 2009 Last revised: 29 Jun 2009

See all articles by Mark A Jamison

Mark A Jamison

University of Florida - Warrington College of Business Administration, Public Utility Research Center

James Sichter

Regulatory Policy at Sprint in the United States

Date Written: June 23, 2008

Abstract

Most countries are coming late to the debate over structural and functional separation in the telecommunications industry. In this paper, we examine experiences in the United States over the past 25 years with functional and structural separation of telecommunications service providers. We find that in some instances changing technologies and markets render most separation policies obsolete even before they are implemented. In other instances, the separation policy initially appears to be important and reasonable to implement, but proves to be of questionable value and unnecessarily complex. We also find that separation has delayed innovation and encouraged service providers to compete in the political and regulatory arenas. Even though equivalence is the commonly accepted goal, the U.S. experience shows it can be addressed in ways other than structural or functional separation, such as non-discriminatory interfaces. The U.S. experience is that behavioral rules, in the end, prove more effective and sustainable than separation remedies.

Suggested Citation

Jamison, Mark A. and Sichter, James, Business Separation in Telecommunications: Lessons from the U.S. Experience (June 23, 2008). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1384582 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1384582

Mark A. Jamison (Contact Author)

University of Florida - Warrington College of Business Administration, Public Utility Research Center ( email )

PO Box 117142
Gainesville, FL 32611
United States
352-392-6148 (Phone)
352-392-7796 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://warrington.ufl.edu/purc/facultyinfo.asp?WEBID=1217

James Sichter

Regulatory Policy at Sprint in the United States ( email )

6391 Sprint Parkway
Overland Park, KS
United States

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