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Synopsis

Telecommunications sector policy-makers and regulators have a wide range of instruments available to them that can be used to increase access to telecommunications services in rural and low-income areas. The paper provides a review of these instruments, evaluating them against a set of criteria. It then goes on to identify a number of them that are worthy of further consideration by policy-makers and regulators while demonstrating that the effectiveness of the identified instruments can be greatly enhanced by the establishment of a conducive legal, regulatory and institutional framework. The paper concludes by confirming that while no single instrument taken in isolation can provide a full solution to universal access, a mix of the measures identified can be devised to achieve specific policy objectives in a particular country environment.

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