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Incumbent response to telecommunications reform: The cases of Jamaica and Ireland, 1982-2007.

Minto, Indianna Deborah (2009) Incumbent response to telecommunications reform: The cases of Jamaica and Ireland, 1982-2007. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science (United Kingdom).

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Abstract

The 1980s and 90s have seen a focus on telecommunications reform globally. Reform has to varying degrees witnessed the introduction of competition, privatisation and new institutions that have inherently posed a threat to the dominance of former monopolists, now incumbents. In spite of these challenges, incumbents have remained dominant in their respective settings and in some cases have regained ground lost at the outset of reform. Research on regulation and regulatory reform has nonetheless remained silent on these actors and why they have managed to remain dominant. Additionally, while enforcement approaches have shed some light on how firms respond to regulation in general, there has not been enough of an appreciation of incumbents as a special category and of their effects on regulation. The aim of this thesis is to investigate the ways in which incumbents have responded to reform and to uncover the various forces that affect this response. In so doing, it hopes to advance an understanding of these actors and why they have remained at the centre of their regulatory space. This is undertaken through case studies of telecommunications reform in two countries, Jamaica and Ireland. This thesis shows that incumbents are active participants in the regulatory space, adopting creative strategies to heighten competitiveness and maintain dominance in the face of change. Secondly, the study takes a more focused view of firms showing that they are not necessarily monoliths but may be segmented internally by geography and by divergent groups and interests. It is shown that this has important consequences for the timing and success of regulatory reform and the design of new regulatory regimes with special implications for small states. Finally, the work highlights the fact that the incumbent's response is not only conditioned by regulation. Thus, while important, the relationship between the regulator and regulated firm does not explain the full breadth of the latter's behaviour.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Law, Business Administration, General
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
Departments > Law
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/2538

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