Part of a series on universal service, The
Cost of Mandating Technology, upholds a technology-neutral approach to
universal service definitions by showing the cost of mandating a
technology before it is widely deployed. This paper uses the deployment of
broadband technology in rural areas as an example.
The Cost of Mandating Technology explains how two forces accelerated the
debate over mandating a specific technology for universal service: (1) the
transition from monopoly to competitive environment and (2) industry
convergence. Simple charts based on an early version of the New Technology
Deployment Model show the impact of speeding up broadband deployment in
terms of cost per telephone line.
This paper provides a solution for when to revise the universal service
definition: "When a service becomes part of what's required to conduct
daily business or personal activities."