There are three possible scenarios for a universal access and service (UAS) policy document:
- The UAS policy is incorporated within either the communications or ICT policy and UAS concepts and objectives are well fleshed out;
- The UAS policy is a separate policy document where the communications or ICT policy pre-exists but contains only brief references that require expansion; or
- The UAS policy is formulated as a stand-alone policy but written into regulations, giving greater force and details to the more general UAS references contained in a communications or ICT policy.
Any government in the process of renewing its communications or national ICT policy has the option to integrate the UAS policy into it. Helpful considerations in deciding whether this is desirable or not, might include:
- Are there political considerations which might make it desirable to have a stand-alone, prominent UAS policy;
- How large an issue is UAS? If a large part of the population and country is already served, UAS might not need a separate policy and can be sufficiently addressed within the communications or national ICT policy with the help of regulation;
- How long is the UAS policy document? A long UAS policy might justify a separate policy document; and
- How well defined is the UAS funding mechanism?
In some cases, even if the first three conditions favour incorporating UAS into the main sector policy, the fourth, funding, is often sufficiently crucial to justify a separate UAS policy. Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are good examples of countries where the UAS policy is almost wholly focussed on the objectives and practices regarding the UAS Fund. These policies are provided in the reference documents, The Universal Access and Service Policy and Universal Service Fund Policy. Alternatively, UAS funding mechanisms can be implemented through special regulations. Nevertheless, it is possible that a new UAS policy and regulation may require changes in legislation, discussed in Section 4.3.