Unilateral and Bilateral Rules: A Framework for Increasing Competition While Meeting Universal Service Goals in Telecommunications
The telecommunications industry in the United States and much of the rest of the world is in a period of transition from monopoly to competition. Yet, movement toward a competitive industry does not imply a total absence of regulation. Society still expects telecommunications providers to make contributions toward the achievement of policy goals that would not be made if the telecommunications industry were unconstrained by regulatory and legal requirements. These expectations are exemplified by various performance obligations, such as ubiquity of service and affordable prices, that are critical elements of universal service policy in the United States and most other industrialized countries.