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Regulatory responses to convergence: experiences from four countries

Regulatory responses to convergence: experiences from four countries Purpose – The purpose of the paper is to identify the factors that have moved some regulators around the world to restructure their regulatory agencies towards an integrated information and communication technology (ICT) regulator. Design/methodology/approach – This paper uses the theory of transaction costs as an analytical framework to analyze the regulatory convergence efforts of the UK, India, Malaysia, and South Africa. It relies on case study methodology to elucidate the obstacles towards a converged policy framework. Findings – The cases show that these countries moved towards a converged regulator and laws to eliminate obsolete rules that were hampering investment and slowing competition in the ICT sector. The governments also wanted to eliminate some redundancies and simplify the rules used in regulating ICTs. For some countries the ICT regulator maintains traditional industry distinctions but others moved towards an issues‐organizing framework. The challenges included training, consultations with affected parties, changes in the law, and coping with rules that were still valid. Practical implications – Given the rapid development of technology and the blurring boundaries of ICTs, regulators are advised to make changes to their regulatory bodies and adopt a more flexible regime of laws and regulators that are able to accommodate technological and industry changes. Originality/value – The paper makes a unique contribution by linking the theories of collective action and transactions cost to explain why convergence of telecommunications regulation happens and the obstacles that regulatory agencies face in the process. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png info Emerald Publishing

Regulatory responses to convergence: experiences from four countries

info , Volume 7 (1): 21 – Feb 1, 2005

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2005 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1463-6697
DOI
10.1108/14636690510578252
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of the paper is to identify the factors that have moved some regulators around the world to restructure their regulatory agencies towards an integrated information and communication technology (ICT) regulator. Design/methodology/approach – This paper uses the theory of transaction costs as an analytical framework to analyze the regulatory convergence efforts of the UK, India, Malaysia, and South Africa. It relies on case study methodology to elucidate the obstacles towards a converged policy framework. Findings – The cases show that these countries moved towards a converged regulator and laws to eliminate obsolete rules that were hampering investment and slowing competition in the ICT sector. The governments also wanted to eliminate some redundancies and simplify the rules used in regulating ICTs. For some countries the ICT regulator maintains traditional industry distinctions but others moved towards an issues‐organizing framework. The challenges included training, consultations with affected parties, changes in the law, and coping with rules that were still valid. Practical implications – Given the rapid development of technology and the blurring boundaries of ICTs, regulators are advised to make changes to their regulatory bodies and adopt a more flexible regime of laws and regulators that are able to accommodate technological and industry changes. Originality/value – The paper makes a unique contribution by linking the theories of collective action and transactions cost to explain why convergence of telecommunications regulation happens and the obstacles that regulatory agencies face in the process.

Journal

infoEmerald Publishing

Published: Feb 1, 2005

Keywords: Telecommunications; Malaysia; Standardization; United Kingdom; India; South Africa

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