The future of the USO - Economic rationale for universal services and implications for a future-oriented USO
Universal service obligations (USO) in the postal sector currently enjoy considerable attention among politicians, practitioners and academics. The primary areas of interest have been the viability, costing and funding of the USO in a completely liberalized market. However, the purpose and the scope of the USO itself have so far not been questioned fundamentally. In this paper we first analyze the possible rationale for USO from an economic point of view. Then, we discuss the impact of converging postal and telecommunications markets on potential alternative means to provide USO in a more efficient way.
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