Designing Next Generation Telecom Regulation: ICT Convergence or Multi-Sector Utility?

Anders Henten, Rohan Samarajiva, William H. Melody

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


This article critically examines the multiple rationales for telecom, IT, media convergence regulation, on the one hand, and multisector utility regulation, on the other, and the practical questions of implementation they pose, with a view to contributing to informed policy and regulatory decisions. Both options involve substantive as well as procedural issues, not necessarily separable. The conditions that may affect the creation of convergence and multi-sector regulation, ranging from underlying commonality of inputs and the behaviour of regulated firms to considerations that are specific to the regulatory process such as scarcity of regulatory resources and safeguards for regulatory independence, are examined. It is concluded that ICT and media convergence issues are primarily about improving the efficiency of market economies, and how changes in regulation can facilitate this process. Multi-sector regulation issues are primarily about establishing the efficiency and effectiveness of regulation, so it can be a catalyst for network and economic development. They arise from an initial diagnosis of different problems, and represent different priorities and pathways to achieving a very similar set of development objectives.
Original languageEnglish
JournalDigital Policy, Regulation and Governance
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)26-33
Publication statusPublished - 2003


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