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Universal Service Obligations in the Postal Sector

In: Progress toward Liberalization of the Postal and Delivery Sector

Author

Listed:
  • Xavier Ambrosini
  • François Boldron
  • Bernard Roy

Abstract

The 2nd European Postal Directive requires an assessment of the scope and sustainability of the universal service obligation (USO) under full market opening. The requirements for each of these, the scope of the USO and the market opening, as well as the incumbent’s sustainability under alternative scenarios may well differ across countries as a number of previous contributions to the postal debate have pointed out.1 Universal service is a set of measures aiming to grant permanently all users in all points of a territory a sufficient level of service. These obligations take the form of constraints, and apply to a range of products or services. They involve quality, in the broad sense, and price controls. The existence of obligations means that, in their absence, the market may not provide a sufficient level of service, or whole scope of products, or at least not at an affordable price level for all users. The loss of degree of freedom created by the existence of constraints creates an opportunity cost.

Suggested Citation

  • Xavier Ambrosini & François Boldron & Bernard Roy, 2006. "Universal Service Obligations in the Postal Sector," Topics in Regulatory Economics and Policy, in: Michael A. Crew & Paul R. Kleindorfer (ed.), Progress toward Liberalization of the Postal and Delivery Sector, chapter 0, pages 23-37, Springer.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:topchp:978-0-387-29744-6_2
    DOI: 10.1007/978-0-387-29744-6_2
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