The discussion that is taking place about the trans-sectoral use of broadband is gaining momentum and many countries are now asking themselves serious questions about the future of their telecoms sector.
Until recently governments were convinced that they could separate themselves from the telecoms sector, and the key policies were focused on deregulation and privatisation. During the last few decades, however, this course reduced telecoms to the status of a commercial sector. Governments have accepted the priority placed by telcos on the interest of their shareholders and failed to understand the importance of telecoms as national infrastructure.
The Internet was a major ingredient in changing the direction of telecoms, particularly when broadband was added to the mix. In no time Internet and broadband penetration went through the roof, a clear indication that people were extremely interested in using these new technologies. More and more countries began to recognise the social and economic importance of this infrastructure. Political pressure started to emerge, aimed at governments in countries that were lagging behind in broadband infrastructure.
But many countries are now uncertain about how to proceed. They all understand the importance of telecommunications but are reluctant to resume a connection with this sector. This report examines how the present situation came about, and unravels the various elements involved. It concludes by re-assembling the pieces of the puzzle and exploring ways to move forward.