Broadband Universal Service: A Future Path for Europe?
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2009
This paper provides an overview of the current state and trends of universal service with focus on broadband access in the European Union. First it presents a brief market overview of broadband, and briefly defines the USO concept. Next an historical overview is given of the universal service concept in the European legislation, with particular attention to early initiatives and discussions related to the implementation of a possible B-USO. The paper emphasizes that the current discussion on a future B-USO has long-standing antecedents, going back to the 1987 Green Paper. It also analyzes the previous USO review, carried out in 2005-2006, and summarizes views from stakeholder and member states. The prospect of a B-USO must however be seen in the context of other initiatives and emphasis on broadband as a means to achieve a more dynamic European economy, and therefore various policy initiatives related to broadband are summarized. The paper will also offer some issues to consider for a broadband USO, from a general standpoint. As a conclusion, the paper will identify selected issues in implementing such a regulation.