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Publication Citation

51 Federal Communications Law Journal 61 (1998)


In 1998, the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) "Basic Telecom Agreement" dramatically opened to foreign competition basic telecommunications services of the sixty-nine WTO Members committing to the Agreement. The process and results of the WTO negotiations are important to telecommunications consumers because there will be increased market competition, thereby decreasing the price of such services and increasing consumer choice. The negotiations that led to the WTO Agreement resolved many difficult issues including: scheduling, regulator’s independence, competitive safeguards, and interconnection of telecommunications suppliers. The resolution of these issues will allow market access and foreign ownership in over 90 percent of major markets. These negotiations were only the beginning of the process and implementation of the Agreement will provide new challenges.