Universal Service & Universal Access
The concept of universal service for public services in general is old since the early last century and aims to remove barriers to access and spread of services to all sectors of society in public services, which usually included in the State such as communications, mail, Electricity, water, transportation and which are considered "Natural monopoly " of national economic activity. And then see that there are two aspects to this concept:
- First: Availability of services is known as "universal service".
- Second: Deployment Services is the famous "universal access".
The concept found much attention on the global level since the eighties in the last century, after the privatization of the telecommunications sector and its transfer to the open market (competitive), which separately operated companies to reduce investments in remote locations and rural areas and that there is no hope of material return estimator. This led in turn to prove that governments and codify the principle of service and universal access in the framework of mainstream economic benefit, hence the concept of "universal service mandatory Universal Service Obligation - USO".
States vary greatly in the development of policies of universal service as a result of the differing circumstances of each country. In developed countries, for example, no problem of dissemination of the service, as that coverage is usually comprehensive, but there is a problem of access to some of the poor sectors of society, particularly modern services, for example, Internet and Security and Safety Services and enable the service for people with special needs. The situation is different for the least developed countries in sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and South Asia and the Pacific, the main problem is the deployment of the service geographically, which cost the operators a lot and especially are those projects with a high degree of risk cost is high and there is the accuracy and reliability of the feasibility studies and there is usually an estimate of the size demand.
Besides the role of the state to benefit from the services sector all segments of society was a global trends for the universal service in the least developed countries is linked to the concept of the "Digital Divide" and subsided only in the dissemination of basic services, which was often on the phone fixed line communications centers in the communities. After the Tunis Declaration on the empowerment of the Information Society began the concept of universal service takes other dimensions associated with the new concepts such as sustainable development and the fight against poverty and environmental sanitation has been linked to plans for local economic development and health education, environmental, and in general help local groups to take better decisions for their own affairs. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) recently determined that the universal service should include the following services, which the Union considers fundamental to any human being, one of the core work of the organizers of the National Communications:
- Providing access to telephone service from a fixed location.
- Provide a printed manual for the phone.
- The provision of public telecommunications centers.
- Service provision for people with special needs.
- Work to find ways to improve access to service by reducing the price to be.
- The provision of the Internet.
The biggest concern in requiring access and universal service is the cost. It follows a comprehensive service usually "Universal Service Fund " who is spending on projects certified. The fund is financed from stakeholders, voluntary organizations and the State in addition to a certain percentage of revenue (or profit) companies operating in the sector. There are directions for the provision of investment projects in regions mentioned in the framework of universal service from the premise that:
- Any less-developed area is the area eligible for new projects necessarily activating the role of local businessmen is usually successful investment.
- Exploit the external network parties "Network Externalities" in the provision of regional projects.
- Resort to the partnership between the public and private sector for the implementation of projects under development and fight poverty.
- Requiring companies make marketing studies to provide services to those areas set out by the analysis of the Long Run Avoidable Cost.