ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Critical Role of Legal and Regulatory Regime

Telecommunications Liberalisation

The government's reluctance in the first round of reforms to break the dominance of department of telecommunications and to overhaul the legal and regulatory regime led to endless litigation, which delayed the liberalisation process for almost a decade. The explosive growth of the Internet and wireless technologies and the threat by investors to decamp and withdraw their investment led the government to make efforts to untangle the problems. The 1999 Telecom Policy, the Internet Policy of 1998, and the recent legal and regulatory initiatives to overhaul the legal and regulatory regime are all steps in a positive direction. This article takes India's case as an example to show that a proper legal and regulatory regime at an institutional level at the outset, and a clear commitment to pro-competitive market principles at the political level, are necessary preconditions to successfully reforming the telecom sector.

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