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This edition of The Technology, Media and Telecommunications Review provides an overview of the evolving legal constructs relevant to both existing service providers and start-ups in 29 jurisdictions around the world. It is intended as a business-focused framework for beginning to examine evolving law and policy in the rapidly-changing TMT sector.
The burgeoning demand for broadband service, and for radio-spectrum-based communications in particular, continues to drive law and policy in the TMT sector. The disruptive effect of these new ways of communicating creates similar challenges around the world: the need to facilitate the deployment of state-of-the-art communications infrastructure to all citizens; the reality that access to the global capital market is essential to finance that infrastructure; the need to use the limited radio spectrum more efficiently than before; the delicate balance between allowing network operators to obtain a fair return on their assets and ensuring that those networks do not become bottlenecks that stifle innovation or consumer choice; and the growing influence of the ‘new media’ conglomerates that result from increasing consolidation and convergence.
These continuing developments around the world are described in the following chapters, as well as developing liberalisation of foreign ownership restrictions, efforts to ensure consumer privacy and data protection, and measures to ensure national security and facilitate law enforcement. Many tensions exist among the policy goals that underlie the resulting changes in the law. And although the global TMT marketplace creates a common set of issues, cultural and political considerations often drive different responses at the national and the regional level.