On 15 February 1997, the World Trade Organizationís negotiating group on basic telecommunications service reached a path-breaking agreement. In all, 68 countries accounting for more than 90 percent of telecom revenue worldwide made commitments to open their telecom markets to competition and foreign investment. This agreement will contribute to lower costs for consumers, improved telecom service quality, and new jobs in competitive telecom sectors. Petrazzini describes the context leading to the agreement, estimates the benefits of the deal, and provides an in-depth assessment of the economic and technological forces changing the way we talk, fax, e-mail, and network with each other.
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