This book is the outgrowth of shared interests between the editors and the contributing authors to provide a multidisciplinary perspective in evaluating universal service policy and recommending policy changes to accommodate a more competitive telecommunications environment. The book is interdisciplinary in nature to reflect the extremely complex context in which universal service policy is formed. The chapter authors represent a broad cross-section of disciplinary training, professional positions, and relationships in the telecommunications industry. Academic disciplines represented include law, economics, anthropology, communication, and business.
This book's purpose is to significantly enhance the development of effective telecommunications universal service policy among policymakers, industry members, and stakeholders in the United States. Universal service policy has been, and will continue to be, both enabled and constrained by the simultaneous interaction of social, political, technological, and economic forces in the environment in which it is formed. A more effective process for policy design is to seek agreement on how entitlements embedded in universal service policy should be modified as circumstances invariably change over time. Therefore, the volume reflects recent significant developments in U.S. universal service policy--the implementation of which continues to unfold.
"It is an original and very useful book, thanks to the diversity of the contributions it brings together, none of which is superfluous. We can certainly recommend it as it is easy to read and which requires no pre-requisite, even if all contributions are of a very high quality."
—The Journal of Policy Regulation and Strategy for Telecommunications, Informatio
"The book is a valuable compendium because it offers perspectives from multiple disciplines (e.g., communications, law, economics), has contributions from regulators and private sector actors, and provides significant assessments of the advantages and disadvantages of the FCC's recent policy decisions on universal service."
Contents: Preface. Part I: Introduction. B.A. Cherry, S.S. Wildman, Conceptualizing Universal Service: Definitions, Context, Social Process, and Politics. Part II: Frameworks for Analyzing Universal Service. H. Sawhney, K. Jayakar, Universal Service: Migration of Metaphors. B.A. Cherry, S.S. Wildman, Unilateral and Bilateral Rules: A Framework for Increasing Competition While Meeting Universal Service Goals in Telecommunications. M. Blizinski, Questions for Outlining a Universal Service Policy. Part III: Societal Role and Implications of Universal Service. M. Blizinski, J.R. Schement, Rethinking Universal Service: What's on the Menu? A.W. Batteau, The Social Architecture of Community Computing. A.S. Hammond, IV, Universal Access to Infrastructure and Information. Part IV: Paying for Universal Service. C. Weinhaus, R.K. Lock, H. Albright, M. Jamison, F. Hedemark, D. Harns, S. Makeeff, Overview of Universal Service. D. Gabel, Recovering Access Costs: The Debate. J.C. Smith, Universal Service: A Stakeholder Response. Part V: Embarking on a New Universal Service Policy: The Role of the Federal Government. B.A. Cherry, S.S. Wildman, Review of Federal Universal Service Policy in the United States. W.G. Lavey, Some Legal Puzzles in the 1996 Statutory Provisions for Universal Telecommunications Services. J. McConnaughey, Universal Service and the National Information Infrastructure (NII): Making the Grade on the Information Superhighway? Part VI: The Role of the States. T.W. Bonnett, The New State Role in Ensuring Universal Telecommunications Services. R.K. Lock, Jr., Breaking the Bottleneck and Sharing the Wealth: A Perspective on Universal Service Policy in an Era of Local Competition.