[It is interesting to see that the last redoubt of the monopoly telco – the ITU - is now advocating infrastructure sharing. Infrastructure sharing has been as fact of life where there is intense competition, as for example with cell phone towers in the USA. Few cellular companies now own cellular towers or the associated transmission gear. Instead they contract with companies like America Tower that specialize in the business of operating and maintaining cellular towers and transmission gear for a number of carriers, while the carriers themselves focuses on their core competency of providing cell phone services. Similarly last mile business models, as advocated by Google policy staff such as “Home with Tails” is another example where “condominium” sharing of infrastructure enables new business opportunities and significantly lowers costs for all competitors – large and small. Thanks to Frank Coluccio for this pointer – BSA]
ITU Advocates Infrastructure Sharing to Counter Investment Drought
In response to the global financial crisis which may make it more difficult for investors to obtain financing for continuing network development, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is advocating infrastructure sharing as a means to continue to rapid rollout of network resources to under-served populations. In its newly published annual report, Trends in Telecommunication Reform 2008: Six Degrees of Sharing, the ITU examines the sharing of civil engineering costs in deploying networks, promoting open access to network support infrastructure (poles, ducts, conduits), essential facilities (submarine cable landing stations and international gateways) as well as access to radio-frequency spectrum and end-user devices.
Additional papers were commissioned by ITU as discussion papers and were written by various lawyers/regulators. See: http://www.itu.int/ITU-D/treg/Events/Seminars/GSR/GSR08/discussion_papers/Overview_Final_web.pdf .