Tariff Structures and Rebalancing: ITU-D Study Group 1

Tariff Structures and Rebalancing: ITU-D Study Group 1

ITU-D is the ITU Telecommunication Development Sector.  ITU-D works through:

  • World and regional telecommunication development conferences,
  • The Telecommunication Development Advisory Group,
  • The Telecommunication Development Bureau, and
  • Telecommunication development study groups.

The ITU-D study groups are a neutral worldwide forum.  The Study Groups bring developed and developing countries together to study questions and matters of priority to developing countries.  The study groups aim to offer a neutral, worldwide platform to find answers to key development questions, and to formulate recommendations. 

Study Group 1 covers telecommunication development strategies and policy issues.  Its mandate covers:

  • National telecommunication policies and regulatory strategies which best enable countries to benefit from the impetus of telecommunications as an engine of economic, social and cultural development, and
  • Finance and economics, including World Trade Organization (WTO) issues, tariff policies, case studies, application of accounting principles as developed by ITU-T Study Group 3, private-sector development and partnership.

In 2002 the Group issues its Final Report on Question 12/1: Tariff policies, tariff models and methods of determining the cost of national telecommunication services. With respect to tariff rebalancing, the report found that tariff rebalancing is a fundamental aspect of a competitive market. Price caps, geographical averaging or other similar schemes may be introduced to avoid undue prejudice to users on account of the necessary rebalancing and to ensure that rebalancing does not undermine the affordability of telephone services.

The report also found that time-limited safeguards may be necessary to avoid a situation where losses of income due to the lowering of tariffs for certain services and/or in certain areas are not offset by price increases for other services and/or other areas (peripheral, rural, and so on).

In the current study period (2002–2006), ITU-D Study Group 1 is considering seven questions. Its tasks include:

  • Considering the general evolution of tariff structures for the different services in countries that have implemented a policy for rebalancing their telecommunications tariffs,
  • Adding to the database on costs and tariffs in developed and developing countries on the basis of replies to the annual questionnaire on costs and tariffs,
  • Continuing to collate costing and tariff models for applying cost-oriented telecommunications tariffs in developing countries.  This will take into account the evolution of the regulatory framework and economic, financial and social constraints.

Sources:

ITU-D Study Groups website

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