Jeronimo, Venilde. (1999) "Telecommunications reform and Internet penetration in the EU". In: UNSPECIFIED, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Unpublished)
This poster is a demonstration and discussion of policy issues related to Internet penetration in the European Union, particularly the local telephony tariff infrastructure needed to support (the growth of) Internet penetration rates in EU member states. The usage of the Internet for economic growth, including ecommerce, and political participation has become a much discussed public policy issue. The European Union lags behind the United States in the amount of users connected to the Internet, particularly individuals and households. European local telephony tariff reform is crucial for the growth of Internet access by individuals and households, regardless of the level of network sophistication in place. Local phone tariffs in the EU member states vary from approximately US$0.25 to US$2.00 per minute compared to the U.S. local tariff of US$O.OO per minute. In effect, making a 10 minute connection to a local Internet Access Provider (IAC) (which in most instances is the national telecommunications provider) in Europe can cost between US$2.50-US$20.00 while in the U.S. a local connection to an IAC is cost-free. These local phone charges are in addition to rates individuals pay to an IAC for an Internet account on a (usually) monthly basis. Individuals and households have little incentive to connect to the Internet with such local tariff rates. Member states are undergoing telecommunications regulatory reform, following European-wide initiatives for restructuring the sector. Local telephony tariff reform lags, however. Unless reform occurs to decrease tariffs charged by telecommunications operators for local calls, widespread access to the Internet will remain moderately low for individuals and households.
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