About the ICT Regulation Toolkit

The ICT Sector and Challenges to Regulators

There is widespread agreement about the transformational opportunities that ICTs offer to a country’s economy.  Experience has shown, in turn, that access to ICTs is optimized in countries with effective, competition-centered, market-friendly regulatory frameworks that support and sustain both ICT investment and diffusion, and thereby benefit consumers.  The right framework is so critically important that it can generate billions of dollars of investment. 

But implementing such a framework has become more challenging than ever in recent years as the ICT sector continues to undergo major structural changes. Regulators need to manage the transition from old to new ICT environments, which raises a wide range of questions involving the scope of authority of ICT regulatory institutions, approaches to licensing, competition policy and level playing field in the new environment, what to do about legacy subsidy arrangements, approaches to universal access in order to successfully realize the potential of alternative network infrastructures such as WI-FI and WIMAX to bring both services and high-speed Internet access to urban and rural areas, and the need to introduce an increased role for market forces in radio spectrum allocation.

The ICT Regulation Toolkit

In order to respond to developing countries' need for practical, relevant guidance and assistance in an ever-changing environment, in late 2004, infoDev, in cooperation with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), began the development of an ICT Regulation Toolkit, a hands-on, web-based update and expansion of infoDev’s successful Telecommunications Regulation Handbook of 2000. The Toolkit is intended to assist regulators with the design of effective and enabling regulatory frameworks to harness the latest technological and market advances. Its most prevalent themes are the impact of changing technology, the role of competition, and the regulatory implications of the transition from traditional telephony to next generation networks (NGNs).

Each module offers both a summary and a more detailed overview of its respective topic with links to hundreds of practice notes and reference documents (over 850 in the entire Toolkit) drawn from global experience.

All materials are available in English. Selected Executive Summaries and some of the modules are also available in other languages. 

The Toolkit Modules are:

  • Regulating the Telecommunications Sector: Overview 
  • Competition and Price Regulation 
  • Authorization of Telecommunications Services 
  • Universal Access and Service 
  • Radio Spectrum Management 
  • Legal and Institutional Framework 
  • New Technologies and Impact on Regulation

All modules are periodically updated and improved. As they are used by regulators and policymakers, new materials and case studies will emerge and these will be used to further enrich this important set of tools. The objective is to provide regulators, operators, policymakers, sector experts, and the general public with the latest on regulation strategies, best practices, and case studies.