OECD: Telecommunication Regulatory Institutional Structures and Responsibilities issued January 2006. From the conclusions:
Almost all OECD countries have adopted a regulatory model for the telecommunication sector based on the creation of an independent regulatory authority. Sector specific regulators have often been viewed as temporary institutions created to ensure that effective competition was created in the sector. Once such competition was created regulators would forbear from regulation and over time the sector would be subject, as other industry sectors, only to oversight by the competition authority. Although telecommunication regulators have taken steps to forbear from regulation, and competition has been developing, it would be too premature to view the regulator as only a temporary institution. The development of new technologies, new services, issues such as convergence, and the implications that new voice services may have on universal service, all raise new important regulatory issues. The shift by operators to the “next generation network” may create further pressure to have a single regulatory structure which deals with electronic communications networks and services. New technological developments now allow communications services which historically were regulated differently to appear identical from the consumer point of view. This underscores the regulator’s need to be mindful not only of issues related to companies, but also with the concerns of consumers. An independent regulator with the habit of interacting and learning from consumers will have an advantageous perspective on markets as different technologies vie for new or different regulatory actions.