This paper addresses the role of government in the construction of the National Information Infrastructure (NII) by reviewing the relevant literature, presenting the historical case of the railroad and drawing on information gathered from in-depth interviews. Striking a balance between government leadership and free open market competition is essential to ensure universal service as the NII continues to develop. While government has many choices to coerce compliance for the provision of universal service, it neither owns nor directly controls the companies providing service. On the other hand, while free open market competition has the potential to reduce prices, lower costs and facilitate innovation, it fails to attend to disadvantaged populations.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Economics and Econometrics