Public policy can be a help or a hindrance to the networked economy. The favorable climate that public policy can create for Internet use and e-commerce encourages communities, organizations and individuals to invest in and use information and communication technologies. Important aspects of Networked Readiness dealt with elsewhere in the Guide (such as Internet availability and affordability, hardware and software availability and affordability, ICTs in schools and electronic commerce) are all influenced by public policy.

For a community to become ready for the Networked World, the appropriate policy-makers must realize the implications of their decisions upon ICT adoption and use.

Telecommunications Regulation. Effective regulation should promote competition, ensure affordable pricing for consumers and maximize telecommunications access in the community. Liberalization within the telecommunications sector should establish a regulatory framework that encourages multiple carriers to operate competitively. As more operators enter and compete in the marketplace, service offerings become more accessible and affordable, are deployed more rapidly and reach higher levels of quality. At the same time, regulation should encourage universal access to telecommunications services.

ICT Trade Policy. Information and communication technologies become more available and affordable when there are low barriers to trade, including tariffs on ICT equipment and software, and electronically ordered or delivered goods and services.

<---Previous Page  Next Page -->