This paper examines the experience of the United States, the United Kingdom and other OECD countries that introduced infrastructure competition, principally for long-distance telephone service, during the 1980s. The results show that competition has generally brought lower prices, greater variety of service, faster innovation, higher usage and productivity gains, and increased output both in telecommunications and in other sectors of the economy. The evidence is now convincing that the economic benefits from competition outweigh the highly visible costs and disruptions to established organizations and relations. Other countries can learn from the pioneers' experience to reduce the uncertainties and costs resulting from the transition to competition.
Originally published in: Telecommunications Policy, v. 19, no. 5, 1995, pp. 351-363.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation Reprint series. The Reprint was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1992 to 2011 that represented previously published journal articles, book chapters, and reports with the permission of the publisher. RAND reprints were formally reviewed in accordance with the publisher's editorial policy and compliant with RAND's rigorous quality assurance standards for quality and objectivity. For select current RAND journal articles, see External Publications.
This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit www.rand.org/pubs/permissions.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.