Universal service: Beyond established practice to possibility space

Krishna P. Jayakar, Harmeet Sawhney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


A number of proposals have been put forward to reform universal service and make it compatible with the new competitive telecommunications environment in the United States. The diversity and apparent contradictions between these proposals makes the public policy dialog scattered and confused. This paper introduces the idea of a 'possibility space' delineated by two dimensions - 'intervention' and 'locus' - that lays out the contours of the emerging intellectual landscape by placing past practices as well as present proposals on the same conceptual plane. It suggests that the current approach to universal service reforms continues to be bound by the self-imposed limitations of a past regulatory era, and that a heterogeneous universal service policy is likely to be more suited to the new telecommunications environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)339-357
Number of pages19
JournalTelecommunications Policy
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Apr 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Information Systems
  • Communication
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Library and Information Sciences
  • Management Information Systems
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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