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Regulatory Governance and the Implementation of Universal Service: A Comparative Study of the US and Japan
Unformatted Document Text:  Tracking Number: ICA-1-11804 Regulatory Governance and Universal Service 17 changes in telecommunications landscape in Japan. For example, if we look at the teledensity, 18 which is one of telecommunications network deployment measures, the growth rate of Japan is much higher in Japan than that of the US as Table 1 shows. Table 1. Teledensity in the US and Japan Teledensity Country 1995 2001 Growth Rate (%) 1995-2001 US 60.73 66.45 1.5 Japan 49.61 59.69 3.1 Source: ITU (2002). Although teledensity is a conventional measure of telecommunication development, it is sometimes inadequate to gauge the degree of universal service because it emphasizes individual rather than family/households access. Thus, the percentage of households with telephone may give a more reflective measure for universal service. According to an ITU report (1998), almost 94% of the households have had at least one telephone in 1970 in the US while Japan reached 96% of households’ telephone ownership in 1989. Figure 1 shows the diffusion curves of telephone penetration in the US and Japan. The telephone penetration ratio tells us that the telephone access in the US has entered into its maturation early in 1970s while Japan has achieved its higher penetration quite recently. Figure 1. Percentage of households with a telephone 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 1960 1970 1980 1990 2001 Year (% ) US Japan Source: ITU (2002). 18 Teledensity is expressed in main telephone lines per 100 inhabitants.

Authors: Park, Namkee.
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Tracking Number: ICA-1-11804 Regulatory Governance and Universal Service 17
changes in telecommunications landscape in Japan. For example, if we look at the teledensity,
18
which is one of telecommunications network deployment measures, the growth rate of Japan is
much higher in Japan than that of the US as Table 1 shows.
Table 1. Teledensity in the US and Japan
Teledensity
Country
1995 2001
Growth Rate (%)
1995-2001
US 60.73 66.45
1.5
Japan 49.61 59.69
3.1
Source: ITU (2002).
Although teledensity is a conventional measure of telecommunication development, it is
sometimes inadequate to gauge the degree of universal service because it emphasizes individual
rather than family/households access. Thus, the percentage of households with telephone may
give a more reflective measure for universal service. According to an ITU report (1998), almost
94% of the households have had at least one telephone in 1970 in the US while Japan reached
96% of households’ telephone ownership in 1989. Figure 1 shows the diffusion curves of
telephone penetration in the US and Japan. The telephone penetration ratio tells us that the
telephone access in the US has entered into its maturation early in 1970s while Japan has
achieved its higher penetration quite recently.
Figure 1. Percentage of households with a telephone
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
1960
1970
1980
1990
2001
Year
(
%
)
US
Japan
Source: ITU (2002).
18
Teledensity is expressed in main telephone lines per 100 inhabitants.


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