The sectors mostly discussed in relation to PPP are, for instance, the infrastructural sectors of transportation and water supply, but health and other care sectors are also often involved. In the telecom area, privatization has been part of the broader development towards a liberalized market, and privatization continues to be an important tool in developing the market. In that sense, PPP is an important subject in the communication field, where many different combinations of mixed public-private ownership and different kinds of cooperation between public sector entities and private sector entities are used. However, communication services are decreasingly considered as public services in the sense where public authorities are seen as responsible for the availability of such services. More and more, communication services are considered as belonging to the large groups of goods and services which are subject to the supply and demand mechanisms of the market, even though there is still a large degree of public ownership around the world in the communication area, and even though universal access and service policies are expressions of public policy concerns in that area. Furthermore, traditional PPP arrangements where private businesses build, operate and later on transfer the facilities to publicly owned operators can also still be found in settings where communication operators are public enterprises.
However, the fact that communication services increasingly are subject to mechanisms of supply and demand makes it more relevant to examine the ways in which public sector initiatives can help build infrastructures, where private operators are unable to develop a market, instead of solely discussing how private sector initiatives can assist in fulfilling public policy goals. This may apply in geographically peripheral or poor areas, i.e. in areas where private operators may not be able make a profitable business. It can also be that it is politically decided to build out infrastructures and service provisions at a faster rate than is considered commercially profitable. This actually happens in a number of economically developed countries in the deployment of broadband infrastructures. With the great emphasis that many economically developed countries put on broadband development, initiatives are taken to put public funding into the building up of broadband infrastructures. These infrastructures may eventually be taken over by private operators when they are able to run a profitable business. These cases, therefore, illustrate the opposite development of traditional PPP arrangements, where private businesses build infrastructures that later on are taken over by public sector entities.
Furthermore, instead of limiting the partnership arrangements solely to the public sector and private companies, there should be room for other individual and collective actors, including civil society/non-governmental organizations. Consequently, it would be a multi-stakeholder arrangement, also called Multi-Stakeholder Partnership (MSP), which would not only center on the private/public dichotomy. This extension of the sphere of cooperation would be in line with the discussion in section IV.D.1 on the necessity of transcending the simplistic distinction between market failures and policy failures and to take a more holistic view on the system failures and the possible remedies including MSG arrangements.