The Regulation of Undersea Cables and Landing Stations

16 Pages Posted: 13 Sep 2009

See all articles by Alison N. Gillwald

Alison N. Gillwald

Research ICT Africa; University of Cape Town

Steve Esselaar

Research ICT Africa; Research ICT Solutions Ltd.

Ewan Sutherland

University of the Witwatersrand, LINK Centre

Date Written: April 24, 2007

Abstract

The objectives of regulating access to undersea cables and landing stations are to reduce the costs of international voice and data communications. In turn, this can be shown to benefit national competitiveness, to boost economic growth and to create jobs. It also helps to reduce the digital divide, to make services more affordable and thus to improve social cohesion.

Many ISPs and MNOs are being frustrated in offering more affordable international services because they cannot obtain cost‐effective access to international transmission capacity. If undersea cables could be opened to them, it would contribute to the achievement of widening service provision and deepening competition.

Reduced prices for international services will cause a substantial increase in demand.

The first challenge for the authorities is to find a solid legal basis on which to build the necessary regulations, both information gathering and enforcement powers. Thereafter, an appropriate initial costing methodology is required, one that can be refined over time as more information becomes available. The next challenge is to ensure sufficient political support for action.

Conditions in one country are never identical to those in another. While it is vital to learn from the experiences of other countries, it is never appropriate to copy without very careful consideration of local circumstances.

While the objective is to reduce prices, it is important to do so while encouraging investors.

Keywords: undersea cables, telecommunications, broadband

JEL Classification: F23 ,F43, K23, I16, I4, I96, N77, O38

Suggested Citation

Gillwald, Alison Norah and Esselaar, Steve and Sutherland, Ewan, The Regulation of Undersea Cables and Landing Stations (April 24, 2007). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1472405 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1472405

Alison Norah Gillwald

Research ICT Africa ( email )

414 The Studios, Old Castle Brewery
6 Beach Road
Cape Town, 7925
South Africa

University of Cape Town ( email )

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Western Cape
+27214476332 (Phone)
+0866707594 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.researchICTafrica.net

Steve Esselaar

Research ICT Africa ( email )

414 The Studios, Old Castle Brewery
6 Beach Road
Cape Town, 7925
South Africa

HOME PAGE: http://www.researchictafrica.net

Research ICT Solutions Ltd.

890 Ruckle Court
North Vancouver, BC V7H 2P6
Canada

Ewan Sutherland (Contact Author)

University of the Witwatersrand, LINK Centre ( email )

1 Jan Smuts Avenue
Wits
Johannesburg, Gauteng 2000
South Africa

HOME PAGE: http://link.wits.ac.za/

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