chapter  6
27 Pages

The Changing Environment for Telecommunications Under Economic Reform

WithRobert W. Campbell

This chapter discusses the environment that began to emerge in the new setting, primarily with respect to Russia. The first of Gorbachev's efforts that could be called a reform "program" was a set of changes introduced in 1987 associated with the Law on the State Enterprise. In Gorbachev's proposed "treaty of the union," allocating power and responsibility between the union and republic governments, for example, telecommunications was to be one of the sectors for which responsibility was to remain at the all-union level. In order to apply the main idea of the 1987 economic reform to telecommunications it was necessary first to consolidate units into larger agglomerations such that each could cover expenditures out of revenues. Throughout the ex-USSR, privatization of the telecommunications sector has been seen as a task to be put off until the later stages of reform. By the beginning of 1992, republics had arrived at nearly complete autonomy and had established de facto separate telecoms authorities.