Universal Access Funds - bringing telecommunications to the rural area

The telecommunications sector is growing fast in many developing countries. Rural areas benefit little from this trend - they are largely or completely ignored by the market. State intervention is required.
Universal Access Funds coupled with ''smart subsidies'' are a useful tool to provide telecommunications services to rural areas. They combine minimal government intervention with the advantages of private sector involvement. The legal and institutional framework and the human resources of the regulatory bodies are key to the effectiveness and efficiency of UAFs.

Thorsten Scherf
Advisor Information and Communication Technology Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development
Bonn, Germany
Nina Negic
Sector Project -ICT for Development -,GTZ, Eschborn, Germany

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