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Chairman Kennard's Speech
Regulator's Guide to Building a Global Community

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Federal Communications Commission
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This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action. See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).

June 2, 1999

News Media contact:
David Fiske: (202) 418-0500


The FCC has begun a new technical assistance initiative to assist developing countries in building independent regulatory regimes that will promote competition, liberalization and privatization, FCC Chairman William E. Kennard said today.

In a speech to the AFCOM '99 conference in Arlington, Va., Kennard said, "Fair, open and transparent regulatory processes are essential to U.S. companies doing business abroad. This Initiative is designed to promote pro-competitive regulatory policies so that consumers around the world can reap the full benefits of the telecommunications revolution. U.S. consumers will benefit because telecommunications competition and regulatory parity abroad results in lower domestic and international telecommunications back home."

Kennard said the FCC would develop specific work plans with individual developing countries to provide ongoing technical and regulatory assistance. He stated that the Initiative would expand and formalize the technical assistance that the FCC has been providing as part of its efforts to promote implementation of the World Trade Organization Agreement on Basic Telecommunications Services.

Building on the FCC's existing work with its regulatory counterparts, the FCC will expand technical assistance in the development of pro-competitive regulatory models, and will provide expert information and advice on regulatory issues. Participating countries will invest their own resources; the FCC does not provide any financial support.

Kennard said while the Initiative would focus initially on African countries, it would in the future help developing countries as well in Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America/Caribbean. He said the first three countries to participate in the Initiative would be Ghana, South Africa and Uganda. Kennard indicated that he would travel to South Africa later this year to conclude a work plan agreement.

As part of the Initiative, the FCC has written and released a regulatory guide book for regulators in developing countries. The book is called "Connecting the Globe: A Regulator's Guide to Building a Global Information Community".

Kennard said: "This Initiative is designed to utilize the FCC's recognized expertise in telecommunications regulation to assist developing countries move forward in building independent regulatory agencies that will promote competition, liberalization and privatization in their own local markets."

He said, "This new program will enable us, by setting up specific work plans with individual targeted countries, to identify specific tasks and goals to enable developing countries to move towards fair, open and transparent regulatory regimes. We will define specific areas of technical and regulatory cooperation, specify procedures for exchanging information, and determine experts, technicians and materials necessary to carry out the program."

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FCC International Bureau Contact: Adonis Hoffman: 418-0429