Abstract - The Information Society 16(2)

Prospects for Expanded Universal Service in Europe: The Cases of Denmark, the Netherlands, and Norway

Eli Skogerbø and Tanja Storsul

In Europe, universal service developed within a public service oriented institutional framework. The historical conflicts that produced these institutional arrangements are still important for national policy-making. Furthermore, the level of technological development and integration in the European Union form the context in which decisions concerning universal service are made. Our analysis of telecommunications policies in three small European countries – Denmark, the Netherlands, and Norway—shows that business actors are well networked and press for a minimal definition of universal services whereas those actors promoting an extended definition seem to be less coordinated and therefore less successful. Hence it is unlikely that universal services will be defined more extensively in the future.

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