Universal Service: Policy Options for the Future

By Susan G. Hadden

Do not quote without the permission of the author.
1994 Columbia Institute for Tele-Information

Columbia Institute for Tele-Information
Graduate School of Business
Columbia University
809 Uris Hall
New York, NY 10027

Universal service is the name given to the level of telecommunications service that public policy regards as so essential it must be available to everyone at a reasonable cost. The new telecommunications technologies offer the possibility of expanding the nature of universal service, but there are many public policy controversies surrounding this redefinition. Unfortunately, most of the debate is defined and conducted by those companies who expect to provide the communications network or the informatio n that will be available over it. This is a brief guide to the policy issues underlying universal service.

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