What level of dialtone penetration constitutes ’universal service’?


Work data:

Type of work: Article (academic)


Digital Divide | ICT Infrastructure


This paper focuses on estimating whether a natural level of non-penetration exists, and if so, what the maximum attainable penstration rate is. Universal service penetration levels have steadily increased over the last decade. This paper hypothesizes that penetration levels will level off over time at some point below 100%. Econometric models have been created to estimate penetration rates as a function of several explanatory variables, including per capita personal Income, price changes for residential local service, price changes for toll services, and the existence of lifeline programs. The modeling results also provide Information on cross-elasticities between toll and local service and the effects of the FCC’s subscriber line charges and lifeline programs on the universal service policy goal. In summary, this research provides new information on the topic of what constitutes universal service and provides considerable data regarding own-price and cross-price elasticities associated with residential local service.