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Universal service obligations and the liberalization of network industries: taming the Chimera?

journal contribution
posted on 2016-01-01, 00:00 authored by M Harker, Antje Kreutzmann-GallaschAntje Kreutzmann-Gallasch
This paper considers the protection of universal service in the network industries, with a focus on the postal service and telecommunications sectors. We define the concept of universal service and explain how it was seen as a necessary quid pro quo for securing the liberalization agenda in the EU. We go on to explain and analyse the two competing means of protecting and compensating universal service, either under the State aid regime or the relevant sectoral legislation. In order to gain a better understanding of how these competing mechanisms operate in practice, we look in detail at two areas where liberalization and universal service are in particular tension: (i) high-speed broadband and (ii) letter collection and delivery. We conclude by discussing some of the problems of using State aid rules as a substitute for a sectoral framework and contemplate the future of universal service.

History

Journal

European competition journal

Volume

12

Issue

2-3

Pagination

236 - 276

Publisher

Routledge

Location

Abingdon, Eng.

ISSN

1744-1056

eISSN

1757-8396

Language

eng

Publication classification

C Journal article; C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2016, Informa UK Limited