Managing the Universal Service Obligation

  • David Rawnsley
  • Nomi Lazar
Part of the Topics in Regulatory Economics and Policy Series book series (TREP, volume 31)


This paper looks at the link between the Universal Service Obligation (USO) and postal monopoly and postulates that by providing a simple, transparent process to manage the USO the link will be broken. It provides an historic perspective of the USO and highlights the “definition” problem that the recent push to deregulation has caused. It also shows that the historic links now forged between USO and monopolies have their origins in areas other than social conscience. Currently, the main justification for the USO are the sharing of information and the development of a healthy economy within a democratic society. However, there are those who believe that the postal industry is rapidly diminishing as the means of sharing information and that the postal monopoly, supported by the USO, is restricting market driven economic development.


Post Office European Economic Community Uniform Price Postal Service Universal Service 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Adie, Douglas K. 1990. The Mail Monopoly: Analyzing Canadian Postal Service. Vancouver: Fraser Institute.Google Scholar
  2. Albon, R. 1985 Private Correspondence: Competition or Monopoly in Australia’s Postal Services. Australia: Centre for Independent Studies.Google Scholar
  3. Becker, Gary. “Neither Rain, nor Sleet, nor Good Idea.” Business Week. (June)20, 3377:26.Google Scholar
  4. Button, Kenneth. 1988. Airline Deregulation. London: David Fulton Publishers.Google Scholar
  5. Campbell, James I. 1995. “An Introduction to the History of the Postal Monopoly Laws in the United States.” (June).Google Scholar
  6. Canada Post Corporation. 1996. Ensuring Universal Service at Affordable Rates: The Mandate of the Canada Post Corporation for the 21st Century. (February). Commission of the European Communities. Green Paper on the development of the single market for postal services. COM(91)476final. Brussels.Google Scholar
  7. Commission of the European Communities. Communication from the Commission on the set of measures proposed for the development of the Community postal services. COM(95)227final. Brussels.Google Scholar
  8. Douglas, N.J. 1987. A Welfare Assessment of Transport Deregulation. Aldershot: Gower Publishing Co.Google Scholar
  9. Dnes, A.W. and J.S. Seaton. 1995. The Regulating of BT: An Event Study. Nottingham: Trent University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Fraser, Robert and M. Wilson. 1988. Privatisation: the UK Experience ad International Trends. Essex: Longman Group.Google Scholar
  11. Hill, Rowland. 1837. Post Office Reform: It’s Importance and Practicability. London: Charles Knight and co.Google Scholar
  12. Hills, Jill. 1993. “Universal Service and Rate Restructuring in Telecommunications.” Telecommunications Policy. (August)17(5):471.Google Scholar
  13. Huber, Peter. 1994. “Talk is Cheap”. Forbes. (April) 153(8):131.Google Scholar
  14. Moore, Thomas Gale. 1990. “The Federal Postal Monopoly: History Rationale, and Future.” in the Free the Mail. Edited by Peter Ferrara. Washington: Cato Institute.Google Scholar
  15. Moroney, R.L. 1983. History of the U.S. Postal Service, 1775–1982. Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office.Google Scholar
  16. Noam, Eli. 1994. “Beyond Liberalization III.” Journal of Telecommunications Policy. (December) 18(9):687.Google Scholar
  17. Parker, David. 1994. A Decade of Privatisation: The Effect of Ownership Change and Competition on BT. Birmingham: University of Birmingham Press.Google Scholar
  18. Sawhney, Harmeet. 1994. “Universal Service: Prosaic Motives and Great Ideals.” Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media. (Fall) 38(4):375–395.Google Scholar
  19. Senior, Ian. Liberating the Letter: A proposal to privatize the Post Office. London: Institute of Economic Affairs, 1983.Google Scholar
  20. Staff, Frank. The Penny Post 1680–1918. London: Lutterworth Press, 1964.Google Scholar
  21. United States Congressional Budget Office. The changing Telephone industry: Access Charges, Universal Service, and Local Rates. Washington: U.S. Government, 1984.Google Scholar
  22. Waverman, Leonard. “Pricing Principles: how should postal rates be set?” Perspectives on Postal Issues. Roger Sherman, editor. Washington: American Institute for Public Policy Research, 1980.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Rawnsley
  • Nomi Lazar

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations