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THE CHALLENGE OF THE

VIEWS: 34 PAGES: 29

									     REGULATION

              &

    COMPETITION




A POLICY PAPER FROM UNI-TELECOM
     INDEX
                                                                          Page

                 Foreword                                                   2

                 Executive Summary                                          3

1.               Introduction                                               5

2.               What is Telecoms for?                                      5

3.               The aims of telecom policy                                 6

4.               Universal Service                                          6

5.               Competition and Local Loop Unbundling                      7

6.               Broadband                                                  10

7.               Digital Divide                                             12

8.               Protection of Workers with Mergers and Acquisitions        13

9.               WTO - Cross-border investment and trade policies           15

10.              Financial Transparency                                     17

11.              3rd Generation Mobile                                      19

12.              Number Portability                                         20

13.              Data Protection and Privacy                                21

14.              Information Society and the world summit                   21

                 A Summary of UNI Responses to Regulation & Competition     23




     Regulation & Competition                                                    1
     A Policy Paper From UNI Telecom
     February 2003
Foreword

W
         e are more than 2 million telecom union members in over 100 countries. We are on the front lines of
         the global telecom industry. Many of our co-workers have been the victims of an industry recently
         characterized by excess investment and overcapacity, and market failures to direct investment dollars
into socially necessary projects. We work in wireline and wireless, cable and Internet. We are technicians,
customer service and sales employees. We are in the global south as well as the industrialized north and all
believe that deregulation has led to a collapse of public telecom policy.

We do the work to build and sustain national and international communication networks. We have learned that
networks create more value for each member as ever more members are added to it. We know
communication networks are critical elements of our economic and social infrastructure. They are vital
building blocks for the dissemination of knowledge and building power.

The current economic crisis in communications forces a re-evaluation of where we‘ve been and where we are
going. We believe that our unions, managements and governments must focus on providing full financial
disclosure, universal affordable service, and good jobs. More specifically we believe there must be:

    1. Full financial transparency. All inside and outside directors should disclose all personal contracts with
       the firm and there must be a ban on the abuse of stock options by senior executives.

    2. Universal, Affordable Service. Regulatory policies should be adopted in each nation that encourage
       investment and universal broadband services, rather than competition at the expense of investment
       and services.

    3. Quality Service. Quality customer service requires quick connections to a service representative and
       skilled technicians who can solve problems rather than read scripts, and upon demand the customer
       should be able to learn the location and provider (if a contractor) of customer service.

These are universal goals whose specific implementation will reflect the political and social developments in
each country.

This UNI policy statement addresses the issues that UNI and its affiliates must tackle in order to achieve these
goals and details UNI‘s response to each of the issues that we need to take action on together to ensure our
members have good jobs.



             Larry Cohen                                 Neil Anderson
             World President, UNI Telecom                Head of UNI Telecom Department




Regulation & Competition                                                                                      2
A Policy Paper From UNI Telecom
February 2003
Executive Summary



    UNI Telecommunications Policy on Regulation,
      Competition, Mergers & Acquisitions and
                   Privatisation


R
         egulatory policy provides UNI and UNI affiliates an opportunity to intervene to benefit our members as
         workers, as consumers, and as citizens. With competition, deregulation, globalisation and privatisation
         driving telecommunications policy today, the following principles and policies should guide UNI and UNI
affiliates in our regulatory interventions. And perhaps even more important, are the basis for the information
needed by UNI and UNI affiliates when we engage our members in campaigns that include policy
interventions.


Telecommunications Policy Goals
UNI has two major goals for telecommunications policy:

    1. Protection of workers‘ rights, living standards, and growth of good jobs.

    2. Promotion and advancement of universal, affordable, quality service utilizing a variety of
       communications technologies.


Telecommunications Policy Issues
UNI supports the following policy goals on key policy issues.

        Universal service
        UNI supports policies that promote and advance universal, affordable, quality broadband service,
        including policies to close the digital divide. In the developed world, UNI supports policies to ensure
        that competition does not undermine systems of support that have resulted in near-universal,
        affordable, high-quality telephone service, and UNI encourages the development of new mechanisms
        to promote universal, affordable, high-speed Internet access. In the developing world, where the
        majority of the population still lacks basic telephone service, UNI supports policies to build and make
        affordable communications networks, including advanced networks, using a variety of technologies,
        including wireless.


Regulation & Competition                                                                                      3
A Policy Paper From UNI Telecom
February 2003
        Local Competition
        In a competitive regulatory framework, UNI supports policies that promote union job growth and
        development of new networks and technologies. It is essential that regulators set the rules for
        competition (pricing, unbundling, interconnection and licensing) to stimulate job-creating network
        investment rather than the failed model of resale competition.


        Mergers and acquisitions
        New technologies, deregulation, and globalisation have unleashed a wave of consolidation and
        restructuring among telecommunications companies. Regulatory review of mergers and acquisitions
        provides UNI and UNI affiliates an opportunity to intervene to promote corporate restructuring that
        benefits workers and consumer. For example, UNI opposition to the MCI WorldCom/Sprint merger
        before European and U.S. competition/antitrust authorities played a key role in ensuring that this anti-
        union company did not dominate the Internet.


        Cross-border investment and trade policies
        Globalisation is taking place. UNI supports globalisation of capital that expands workers rights,
        employment opportunities, and other public interest concerns such as universal service. UNI
        negotiated Global Agreements in which telecommunications carriers commit to respect workers‘ rights
        are an important mechanism to shape globalisation toward these social ends. Trade agreements
        such as GATS must include adequate protections for workers‘ rights, transparency, respect for
        democratic policymaking and other public interest protections. Not only must UNI and UNI affiliates
        campaign to ensure good national laws and regulations, we must work to ensure that local and
        national governments laws and regulations on telecom must be respected and not superseded by
        global trade agreements.


        Privatisation
        UNI and UNI affiliates should evaluate any privatisation initiative by the following criteria and work to
        ensure workers interests are met: Does it protect workers‘ rights? Does it maintain worker living
        standards and stable employment? Will it protect and advance equitable, quality service? Is the price
        fair and does society benefit from the privatisation?




Regulation & Competition                                                                                       4
A Policy Paper From UNI Telecom
February 2003
1. Introduction

T
      he telecom unions in membership of UNI have an important contribution to make to try to sort out some
      of the confusion that surrounds the issues of competition and regulation in telecoms. Although
      developments were not of their making, it is their members who are both taking the strain of much of the
readjustment in terms of employment and skills mix and facing the challenges of trying to meet the objectives
of a proper telecommunications service for all against the background of a social infrastructure which does not
necessarily aid that aim.

This task is made more difficult because the ruling wisdom whether in the WTO, the European Commission, or
the US – FCC, is that the introduction of competition into sectors like telecoms where it previously did not
occur, will ‗ sui generis‘ solve the problems of ensuring that customer‘s expectations are met. This prejudice is
arguably economic and social nonsense, being based on an inability either to distinguish between need and
demand or to decide how needs can best be converted into demand. UNI Telecom unions are dramatically
aware of those areas where competition has failed to deliver for consumers and citizens worldwide and where
the aim of regulation (public policy initiatives) is to make good these competitive failures.

Since the UNI unions aims are to recruit and represent all who work in telecoms, it is also important that what
we have a say in this area, particularly when we argue in favour of exploiting the advantages of established
networks in the interests of all. We are not making a special pleading for the old established companies and
hostility to newer competitors. There is every point in putting a reasoned case to regulators, civil servants,
parliamentarians, and governments as to where competition has failed to deliver on what we would believe are
important social objectives particularly when these objectives have been endorsed to a greater or lesser extent
by the governments and organisations to whom we are making these representations.



2. What is Telecoms for?

N
        ow that accelerating levels of technological change have overtaken the plain old telephone service, it is
        necessary to remind ourselves of the essentials which used to underlie the commitment to universal
        service, and which we need to reinterpret in the light of modern technology. The information economy
requires that telecom companies provide networks and services to enable companies to run their businesses
for the future as e-businesses by shifting vast amounts of information. It also requires that the customers of
these e-businesses are able to access the system. The information society requires that all citizens have the
ability to participate in the e-information systems used by government, industry and non-government
organisations to inform themselves and play a full role in society. It is the business of the telecom
undertakings to ensure that they have the systems in place to carry the traffic, that they can offer a level of
inter-connectability between different systems that does not impede the traffic, and that they are providing
access to their customers or the citizens of those countries in an affordable and effective fashion.

The introduction of competition to telecoms was a major factor both in driving down most telecommunication
prices and in leading to the much more rapid exploitation of certain new services (I-mode in Japan for
instance). The combination of this sharp fall in prices and the development of new services led to a rapid
increase in the volume of telecom traffic. However before we can look at the areas where there have been
shortcomings, it is necessary to start looking at how competition has worked in telecoms.


Regulation & Competition                                                                                       5
A Policy Paper From UNI Telecom
February 2003
3. The aims of Telecom Policy

T
      he rate at which governments have embraced the e-economy, and are demanding that a number of
      things be done on-line in comparatively short periods of time, is an indication of the extent to which
      governments shared much of the industry optimism over the telecoms ‗bubble‘. For instance if we look
at Europe, the European Commission‘s aim ‗e-Europe 2005 – an information society for all‘, involves the
provision of on-line services for European citizens enabling them to use modern on-line services for
communication with Government, learning providers and the health service, as well as carrying out e-
business. However the falling rate of growth in internet connection suggests that the current competitive
environment will not create either an infrastructure or a system of service providers which will enable these
targets to be met. It would for instance need a much more effective development of broadband to enable
these interactive services to be freely available than seems likely at present.

Here there are two main difficulties. The first is the creation of effective broadband networks, the second is
service providers providing services on those networks. As without the networks, there won‘t be a network for
providers to provide services on, this is the sensible starting point. Here one of the problems that has beset
European regulation is the extent to which the desire to aid new competitors in challenging the established old
companies has meant that the potential advantages of utilising upgrading of existing networks for broadband
provision has not been sufficiently considered. Although in certain areas it may be possible for the new
competitors to provide effective broadband services, a key regulatory concern must be that regulators
throughout Europe are able to cut deals with broadband network providers which will provide the maximum
network access regardless of the short turn profitability of such investment. To do this will require the
regulators to be able to make concessions elsewhere for providers who meet the social obligations that the
national government or European Commission wish to put in place. This is a clear area where regulation will
be required in order to ensure that the shortcoming of the simple competitive approach is not allowed to limit
access to broadband for European citizens and for those citizens to be able to access and disseminate
information.



4. Universal Service

U
       niversal Service was designed to ensure that everyone has access to the same standard telephone
       network and ensure that it is affordable to all. The costs in some parts of the world make it impossible
       for a household to afford a telephone, and it is considered a luxury not a necessity. Governments
should look into ensuring that the telecommunications network is affordable to all in their country, not to just
the rich. Governments need to help subsidise the rollout of networks (including wireless) where possible,
particularly to ensure that there is universally available access to allow citizens to communicate with health
care services, education and other public services. Even in developed countries, the problem still exists, but is
not highlighted enough. Some areas still have shared lines, or only so many lines per so many users and
access to these basic public services is limited.

Quality of service is also important; you wouldn‘t want the phone to work some days and not the rest. Quality
customer service requires quick connections to a service representative and skilled technicians who can solve
problems rather than read scripts, and upon demand the customer should be able to learn the location and
provider (if a contractor) of customer service. This does give the need for a price structure that will allow the
Regulation & Competition                                                                                       6
A Policy Paper From UNI Telecom
February 2003
adequate service to be provided. Competition sometimes makes the price come down but this normally
affects the quality of service that is being provided.

UNI Response to Universal Service
        UNI supports regulatory policies in each nation that encourage investment and universal broadband
        services, rather than competition at the expense of investment and services. UNI and affiliates should
        make this a priority and ensure that the national operators in all countries provide a Universal Service
        at an affordable price to all areas.

        While the need for a quality universal plain old telephone service is essential for all countries. UNI
        also promotes the need to broaden the definition of Universal Service from POTS to affordable
        internet access and also ensure that Broadband is not be excluded from today‘s Universal Service
        policies. (See Chapter 6 Broadband).



5. Competition and Local Loop Unbundling

F
      undamentally the two basic areas for telecommunications competition are competing
      telecommunications networks and competing services carried over telecommunications networks.
      Sometimes when services are only available over a particular network (to some extent the case in
mobile telephony) the two are synonymous. But in many other instances they aren‘t. Initially competition
theory was very keen on network competition, for instance, the United States, after the initial setting up of MCI,
rapidly reached a situation where it had several competing long-distance companies, some dealing directly
with customers, others dealing primarily with other providers. That pattern was initially followed in the United
Kingdom with the setting up of Mercury as a competitor to BT. It also underlies much of the theory of using
cable TV systems as the basis for competing communication systems in various parts of the world. However,
as it became apparent that in many places it was not going to be possible to have two competing networks
available to every potential customer, there were moves to argue for the opening up of the largest network to
other carriers so others were able to deliver competing services on that network.

In theory there is no reason why there should not be one core hard-wired network in a country delivering
services from a number of different providers to all the potential customers in that country. It would reflect the
view that the basic network, when it included the local loop, was effectively a ‗natural‘ monopoly and that the
undertaking that owned that network could effectively just be a carrier for everybody else‘s services, after all
we only have one network of roads or rail doing just that. In practice in the telecom industry, this ‗pure‘
solution has not taken place anywhere. What has happened is an attempt in a mixed network set-up to
enforce some measures of open competition on major carriers where they themselves are service providers as
well as carriers.


The Shortcomings of Competition
The rationale behind competition as a way of solving the majority of the market problems in telecoms is quite
simple; ‗if there is a demand for a service then if we remove the obstructions to entry then the market will
provide the service‘. While in some areas this is clearly true, there are areas in telecommunications where this
cannot apply for either technical or social reasons.

Regulation & Competition                                                                                        7
A Policy Paper From UNI Telecom
February 2003
Rural areas with low densities of population have traditionally been difficult to service by means of a fixed
telephone link. Most of the African continent has no fixed telephone links in such areas for this reason. While
satellite and mobile telephony both seemed to offer possible solutions to this, it now seems likely that the costs
of adapting either of these to provide solutions to the problems of rural areas have not been fully thought
through. Certainly it is difficult to believe that network competition is likely to play a major role in improving
services to people who find themselves in these situations. When we consider the extent to which universal
service now needs to be redefined to provide for access to all the services of the information society in a
reasonable way, this problem becomes even greater. If we are to create the kind of world society which we
wish to see there will be a need for effective universal telecommunication services but this does not mean, and
will not mean, that there is now, or will be in the near future, an effective economic demand for such services.
It is this crucial difference between need and demand which underlies many of the difficulties of the digital
divide.

Prior to the introduction of competition to telecoms, international telephone services had a considerable
element of monopoly profit because of the deals made between the often single company undertakings at
either end. The introduction of competition, and the collapse of the prices on the most popular circuits, has in
general been seen as one of the benefits of competition for customers. However, those poorer countries, who
depended upon their share of the reciprocal monopoly profits from international phone calls to subsidise their
domestic systems, have suffered as a by-product.

Nor has the growth in international calls been confined to voice. The enormous explosion of data transfers
with work being done in one country and transferred digitally to another, has led to a complete change to the
way in which investment in large circuits have been made both nationally and internationally. In the days of
the conservative, mostly government owned, telecommunication undertakings, investment was made on the
basis of meeting the projected demand for services in that country and for services between that country and
those with whom it had telecommunication links. Thus although there was frequently a tendency for
investment to lag behind demand there were not often cases of large amounts of unused capacity.

With the explosion in demand for services to be carried by telecommunication networks in the second half of
the 1990‘s the approach of the major undertakings to investment in new capacity changed. The aim of large
companies was to build more circuits, whether internationally or nationally, ‗bigger pipes‘, and having provided
these then to try and sell them. Whilst frantic growth was continuing, this could be very profitable. When the
frantic growth stopped the demand for this immense excess capacity disappeared and much of this investment
in fibre optic cable remains unlit today and its market value is but a fraction of the cost of having put the cable
into place in the first place. It has also been the source of many of the failures in the telecommunications
industry during the past few years.

While some of the consequences of failure in the telecommunications industry are the same as the
consequences of failure in other ‗bubble‘ industries, not all are.

Whilst it is true that ‗vulture‘ capitalists are as prepared to buy telecommunications assets or stocks as any
other, if they believe that long term that they will be able to make money reselling them, the customer of a
particular provider may have greater problems in obtaining a comparable service at the same price and
particularly, as is often the case, if it is a service through an internet service provider. Equally there is
considerable ‗market‘ disruption for those who lose their jobs as a consequence of these failures. As recently
as two years ago, people with 3G design skills were in enormous demand in all parts of the world where 3G
licenses were being issued. Similarly those with the IT skills relevant to, or related to, either 3G or broadband
Regulation & Competition                                                                                        8
A Policy Paper From UNI Telecom
February 2003
found themselves in the same situation. Now two years later, those 3G skills are worth half what they were in
the market two years ago and there is virtually no demand for those IT related telecom skills which were seen
as priceless two years ago. While it is obviously the case in the international market economy that no
employees can expect to be protected from the fallout of the collapses in these markets, it is equally the case
that they are likely to try and arrange their lives in such a way as to minimise the future danger.

Therefore if IT and telecoms become regarded as less dependable ways of earning a living, then it will be
harder to recruit the necessary skills on a long-term basis in developed economies, when there is the next
market upturn. (Although there is less direct relevance to UNI members there is a similar instability in capital
markets which may have the effect of increasing the cost of capital for competing telecoms and IT telecoms
related businesses in future).


Local Loop Unbundling (LLU)
A particular response to this, which has occurred in Europe and the United States, is enthusiasm for ‗local loop
unbundling‘. This is a system whereby the last mile (the stretch from the exchange to the customer) is made
available to other companies, as if it were their network. This involves more than an obligation to carry
services, it provides to alternative competitors the ability not just to provide services to be delivered by the
carrier, but to try and deliver the kind of advanced services which involve the competition in direct engineering
on the network itself (in the local loop). Possibly because much of local loop unbundling has occurred
comparatively recently during the aftermath of the collapse of the Internet e-commerce bubble, there has been
a shortage of competitors wishing to invest money even in this comparatively limited form of network based
competition.

Regulators have been claiming that LLU is important to the aims of the e-Europe and equivalent schemes
worldwide. This is of course because competitors have been reluctant to outlay the capital necessary to
connect directly to customers and have instead been pressurising regulators to make existing lines available.

UNI‘s concern is that incumbent operators will be forced to provide local loop service at below cost or for an
unprofitable price thus forcing companies to look at ways to reduce costs. Invariably this will mean that jobs
will be at risk.

Experience has not shown that the LLU regulation has had any positive effect in other countries. In the USA,
for example, unbundling, which was implemented in 1996, has had a negative impact on investments and
infrastructure, and the LLU regulation is currently being reassessed.

UNI developed a policy on Local Loop Unbundling, which was developed late in the year 2000. While current
experience with LLU and the dramatic changes taking place in the telecom industry need to be reflected in that
policy, it is basically still sound and is reflected in UNI‘s response to competition and LLU as detailed below. A
copy of UNI‘s Local Loop Unbundling Policy can be downloaded in English and French from the UNI-Telecom
web page at the following address:
http://www.union-network.org/UNIsite/Sectors/Telecommunications/policypapers.html




Regulation & Competition                                                                                        9
A Policy Paper From UNI Telecom
February 2003
UNI Response to Competition and LLU
        In a competitive regulatory framework, UNI supports policies that promote union job growth and
        development of new networks and technologies. It is essential that regulators set the rules for
        competition (pricing, unbundling, interconnection and licensing) to stimulate job-creating network
        investment rather than the failed model of resale competition.

        UNI and affiliates should therefore ensure that these competitors have the same restrictions imposed
        and that they have to pay a fair and reasonable price for investing in the network and its use of other
        companies‘ equipment.

        When awarded licences to operate, competitors must be able to show commitment to this process of
        investment. It cannot be left to one company to pay for it all.

        All affiliates should ensure that their Governments are given a clear indication of the damage that LLU
        is doing to the sector and the effects it is having on the job security of the workers and seek urgent
        discussions on these matters.

        UNI should be demanding that there must be a fair price paid for local loop connections by alternative
        competitors. A price whereby the competitors are paying the time cost of connecting to the network.

        UNI should also be demanding that assistance be given to companies looking at finding technology
        alternatives to the local loop connection.



6. Broadband

B
      roadband has brought a new type of quality for Internet to the market, yet only some have the privilege
      of having access to this new technology, as the operators will only pick the areas that have a high
      population and where it is easier to install in the exchanges. Rural areas and developing countries have
serious problems as the price of broadband service is out of reach.

However the future of the industry and also much of the world‘s economy depends on the roll out of this
service on a universal basis. Broadband is essential for economic and social well being. It provides the
cutting edge for a modernising economy as well as the potential to improve social inclusion. This claim is
borne out in a new report from the Economic Policy Institute of the USA, an independent economic policy think
tank supported by CWA. The report is authored by Dr. Stephen Pociask and discusses the underlying
economic and regulatory framework of the US communications and information technology industry. The
report, which is entitled "Putting Broadband on High Speed" argues that it is imperative that policymakers take
action to jumpstart the telecommunications industry by encouraging investment in broadband networks. See
http://www.epinet.org/studies/broadband_pociask.pdf to read the full report.

According to the report, 1.2 million new jobs in the US would be created by full deployment of broadband
networks. Widespread broadband deployment would create many social benefits, including telemedicine,
economic development, job training, distance learning, public safety and services for the disabled. In the US
alone, universal broadband deployment would result in $US500 billion in consumer welfare benefits. But, also
according to the EPI report, current regulation discourages investment in high-speed Internet access
Regulation & Competition                                                                                   10
A Policy Paper From UNI Telecom
February 2003
technologies. Although cable, telephone, and wireless technologies are converging to provide broadband
services, regulations have not kept pace. In the US, cable modem services are generally free of regulations,
while telephone companies' high-speed DSL services are highly regulated.

In another report, independently produced by the CWU, UK, the conclusions and concerns about the
regulatory environment and the need for public policy initiatives to stimulate the take up of broadband, are
similar. In their report the CWU argues that: the current structure of the industry is unlikely to deliver universal
access to broadband services. This is due to the complexity of the challenges facing the telecommunications
industry, which deters long-term investment, commercial difficulties faced by new market entrants and
insufficient political will or vision to drive future development sufficiently far forward.
See http://www.cwu.org/broadbandfuture.html to read the full report.

The cost of Broadband for the average user is still too high. This is one of the reasons for the failure in its take
off. Users cannot justify paying around 3 times as much for faster access.

There are an estimated 350 million internet users around the globe, of that 35.2% are in the Americas 32.8%
are in Europe, 28.6% are in Asia, 2% in Africa and 1.2% in Asia1. When it comes to Broadband the figures
show the low take up. Broadband take-up has had a slow start in the UK. Figures for the end of last year, the
latest available, show UK penetration at 0.6% - against 2.4% in Germany, 4.5% in the US and 5.4% in
Sweden.

UNI‘s experience is that the provision of a universally available broadband infrastructure and the stimulation of
broadband take-up are issues of national interest, appropriate for Governments to address. They should not
be left to the market alone to deliver.

One of the problems that has beset regulation is the extent to which the desire to aid new competitors in
challenging the established old companies has meant that the potential advantages of utilising upgrading of
existing networks for broadband provision has not been sufficiently considered. Although in certain areas it
may be possible for the new competitors to provide effective broadband services, a key regulatory concern
must be that regulators are able to cut deals with broadband network providers which will provide the
maximum network access regardless of the short turn profitability of such investment. To do this will require
the regulators to be able to make concessions elsewhere for providers who meet the social obligations that the
Governments wish to put in place. This is a clear area where regulation will be required in order to ensure that
the shortcoming of the simple competitive approach is not allowed to limit access to broadband.

UNI Response to Broadband
        All customers from all parts of a country, whether urban or rural, should have the right to an affordable
        access to the Internet through Broadband and this should be a priority for UNI and UNI affiliates. The
        future is Broadband! We need to campaign to the national governments, telecom operators and
        respective regulatory authorities to ensure that all services are provided to ALL customers in ALL
        areas.

        To ensure that this is the case, UNI and affiliates must encourage Governments to ensure that the two
        aspects with the introduction of Broadband are considered. First that the Governments need to take
        action to encourage investment in broadband, by tax incentives, direct subsidies or other means, such
1
 Source ITU
Regulation & Competition                                                                                        11
A Policy Paper From UNI Telecom
February 2003
         as making the public sector a ―locomotive for change‖. Second, that the regulators need to develop
         regulations that treat all providers of broadband services, such as cable modem services, direct
         satellite services and traditional telephone companies with their high-speed DSL services in the same
         manner to ensure a level playing field and to encourage investment.

         Some affiliates are already leading the way with activities and campaigns to get Broadband for all and
         this needs to be expanded on an international level with all telecom affiliates of UNI.

         As there are special problems and different solutions for each country, UNI and affiliates should find
         and highlight problem areas and consider what action might be possible to assist with a strategy for
         the implementation broadband.



7. The Digital Divide

T
      he Digital Divide gap is forever increasing, the undeveloped countries are falling further and further
      behind the developed countries due to the constant changes in technology. UNI needs to ensure that
      we bridge this gap as quickly as possible to prevent the gap becoming too big. The digital divide exists
also within countries. The region or area where a person lives is not the only concern with the digital divide.
Education, gender and language are also restricting factors adding to the width of the divide. The UN Human
development report also found that the typical Internet user world-wide is male, under 35 years old, with a
university education and high income, urban based and English speaking—a member of a very elite minority.
English is used in almost 80% of websites. Yet fewer than one in ten people worldwide speaks the language.

The digital divide is also a gender problem. The European Commission, in an analysis that it published in
February 2000, found that only 25% of Internet users in the EU were women.2

The risks of a widening divide between the ‗information-rich‘ and ‗information-poor‘ are greater if the
development of the information society is left solely to market forces. As argued elsewhere in this paper,
regulatory measures are necessary to ensure that basic telecoms and broadband services are available to all
through universal service provision.

The Digital Divide doesn‘t just consist of the country not having the equipment but many factors, which include
things like training in technology. This is too costly in some countries and this needs to be subsidised through
governments and wherever possible through the companies. Training needs to be an ongoing commitment of
all companies to keep the workforce up to speed with the latest technology. Schools in all countries need to
look at teaching the technology of today and adapt the courses to the latest technology not 5 or 10 years ago.
Things change quickly, in order for ourselves, our schools, and our children to learn and adapt, we all need to
change with it.

UNI has and is actively participating in a number of fora designed to assist in eliminating the digital divide,
such as the World Bank and OECD‘s Dot Force and the ITU‘s Action Plan developed at the World
Telecommunications Development Conference held in May 2002. The next major forum that is planned in
which UNI is an active participant is the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) (See chapter 14).
The first part of the summit will be held in Geneva in December 2003 which a follow up summit to be held in

2Financial Times, 8 February 2000
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Tunis in 2005. UNI has developed a UNI position that has been submitted to the WSIS and which can be
seen on a special web page that UNI has developed on the WSIS at:
http://www.union-network.org/UNIsite/In_Depth/Interna_Relations/WSIS.html

The WSIS initiative will have failed to realise its potential if it does not adequately address the central issue of
the digital divide. UNI calls on participants to focus the debates at the WSIS within the overall context of the
international imperative to address economic development and poverty elimination.

The supply of equipment at a reasonable price is certainly one area of activity where UNI can have an effect
and provide some positive leadership in the campaign to lower the digital divide and to provide real
opportunities for workers. UNI has been making investigations into how union members can access low-cost
or even free computer equipment and UNI Telecom has been participating fully in the UNI Online project. This
project has been aimed at assisting UNI affiliates to get computer equipment and get online. So far unions in
Africa, Asia and Latin America have been assisted. This has been with the generous support of UNI affiliates
such as the CWA in the US, the CWU, UK and SETCA, Belgium.

UNI’s Response to the Digital Divide
        UNI needs to look at various ways at combating the Digital Divide and seam up the split between the
        areas and countries. Action point 6 on UNI‘s Strategic Objectives for 2002-2005 says UNI should
        support initiatives to bridge the digital divide. We now need to carry out this promise with the help of
        all UNI Affiliates. We need to create alliances with the Internet Service Providers (ISP‘s) and phone
        companies to help train and develop a scheme to destroy the digital divide into a thing of the past not
        the future.

        UNI should continue to take an active part and encourage affiliates to participate in the initiatives to
        tackle the digital divide such as World Bank and OECD‘s Dot Force and the ITU‘s Action Plan to
        eliminate the digital divide.

        UNI Telecom is working with the UNI IBITS sector, on this subject as that sector also shares the same
        concerns in this area. In that regard UNI Telecom and IBITS will make joint submissions on this
        matter to the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). For full details on UNI‘s involvement
        in the WSIS see Chapter 13.

        UNI should encourage more affiliates to participate in the UNI Online project to assist UNI affiliates to
        get computer equipment and to get online.



8. The Protection of Workers with
     Mergers and Acquisitions

T
      he main aim of UNI in respect of mergers and acquisitions in the telecommunications sector should be
      the protection of workers jobs, working conditions and pension funds. One of the corollaries of the
      introduction of competition is that the rate of mergers and acquisitions in the sector suddenly increases.
Within telecoms this was characterised during the boom by the large numbers of companies buying shares in
others or taking over others, particularly when it was possible to use a company‘s own shares to buy another
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company, and thus trying to create a spiral of growth. Both new competitors and established companies were
involved in this process in much the same way. During the period of rapid growth, UNI affiliates sought to
argue both that companies should respect trade union rights when involved in takeovers (this was a factor in
the opposition of UNI affiliates to certain mergers) and that it was important that the consumer interest
worldwide was properly respected. This was at the heart of the successful UNI led campaign against the
World Com/MCI bid for Sprint which was turned down by both the EU and US regulatory authorities as a result
of the campaign bringing out the extent to which the proposed merger would provide an unacceptable level of
internet dominance by a major player.

Once the telecoms bubble burst, and we were faced with a string of bankruptcies in the telecoms sector, there
were different pressures for merger. In this case it is the taking over of bankrupt companies by companies still
running in an attempt to increase their market share and acquire assets cheaply. Here again, the last people
protected are the workers concerned and the aim of UNI affiliates to protect these peoples‘ positions, usually
in detailed negotiations at company and country level, should not blur the extent to which the failures of
competition implicit in the Internet and e-commerce boom and bust have primarily been born by the workers in
the companies concerned. (It is rarely the instigators who have suffered. The few truly corrupt operators
facing criminal charges or who have lost some of their billions are only a small proportion of them, since many
of those who made significant sums of money cashed up and walked away before the problems became
apparent). In essence even during this period of decline UNI is still preoccupied with the same two problems;
how do we protect the interests of our members and how do we ensure that customers are able to continue to
have the kind of access they were originally offered to telecommunication services?

It is important that we don‘t allow the image to grow of unions being opposed to mergers regardless. We are
only opposed to mergers which take place at the expense of our members and customers. Indeed the CWA
was very influential in getting consent for Deutsche Telekom to take over Voicestream Wireless in the United
States, in spite of a campaign run in the Senate against this ‗foreign‘ investment in the US company. We
aren‘t interested in national ownership, we are interested in the rights of our members.

UNI needs a strategy to try and protect the workers that are affected by these constant mergers to ensure that
the job security, pay along with the terms and conditions do not deteriorate as a result of any merger.
Something else that needs considering is that workers pension funds are normally at risk when a company
fails or gets into trouble. We need to look at ways of making these pension funds of the workers safe and
protected from the bad management of individuals or the company as a whole. Pensions are something that
workers need protecting, it is too late to start again on pensions or even survive without them.

UNI Response to the Protection of Workers with Mergers and
Acquisitions
        UNI needs to try and work with the ILO and Governments to bring in an international agreement that
        protects workers from these mergers. If necessary, mergers can be stopped; UNI and its affiliates
        have proved this in the case of WorldCom and Sprint. But when mergers take place then the issue for
        UNI is the protection of workers. This protection could be set down in an international agreement that
        could set parameters for the protection of workers, just the same as competition authorities set
        parameters for competition rules with mergers and acquisitions.

        In regards to pension protection, UNI and affiliates should lobby the governments and try to introduce
        a new law that protects the workers pensions and guarantees pension funds, no matter what happens
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        to the company. The fate of pension funds should be the first thing that is considered when either
        there is a merger. Or a company is broken up because of sale or bankruptcy. Pension funds should
        have priority to be salvaged from companies rather than paying off the CEO‘s.

        Whenever there is a merger or an acquisition, UNI and affiliates need to ensure that consultation and
        transparency of information between the employer and the unions continues at all stages of the
        merger and that agreements are made to continue any collective bargaining agreement into the new
        merged company.



9. WTO, Cross-border investment and trade policies

T
      he General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) has profound actual and potential implications for
      workers in all services. In the telecommunications sector this impact is already being felt.

GATS must be taken very seriously for four reasons. Due to its global scope in terms of both the number of
countries and the range of services it covers. It has established a permanent mechanism for negotiations
aimed at further liberalisation. As the liberalisation in the context of GATS means not only more access for
foreign competitors, but more significantly also the introduction of regulatory disciplines. Because non-
observance of GATS exposes a country to the risk of WTO-authorised retaliatory trade measures (e.g., high
tariffs on its exports) by other WTO member countries.

The General Agreement in Trade in Services (GATS). Which came into force in 1995, sets out a framework of
legally-binding rules governing the conduct of world trade in services. It is supported by a number of
schedules of specific commitments undertaken by individual WTO Members. These commitments bind
Members not to introduce more restrictive rules which could have an adverse effect on trade.

Following the 4th WTO Ministerial Conference in Doha, the services negotiations have been brought within a
broader set of multilateral trade negotiations known as the Doha Development Round (Doha Ministerial
Declaration). These negotiations are due to be concluded by 1 January 2005. WTO Members agreed
benchmark dates for the services negotiations of 30 June 2002 to table initial liberalisation requests and 31
March 2003 for initial offers.

More than 100 negotiating proposals have been tabled and discussed by WTO Members on sectors and
issues pertinent to the GATS negotiations. These proposals are all publicly available on the WTO Website.
Many markets around the world have significant barriers to trade in services - more so than for goods. Unlike
goods, for the most part these barriers are mainly found in countries‘ domestic regulation rather than at the
border. While countries remain free to regulate for national policy objectives, the purpose of trade negotiations
in services is to avoid regulation that is trade restrictive.

In addition, the European Commission has established its own detailed information site on the GATS. Go to
http://gats-info.eu.int/index.html

A full description of the implications of GATS and the WTO can be downloaded from the UNI Telecom website
at: http://www.union-network.org/UNIsite/News_Info/GATS.html


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A copy of the Statement adopted by the UNI World Executive at it‘s meeting of 16-17 October 2002 on the
WTO and GATS can be downloaded from the UNI Web site at: http://www.union-
network.org/UNIsite/News_Info/GATS.html


What UNI and Affiliates Can Do
Gain access to the WTO

The international trade union movement has repeatedly called for some structure bringing together the WTO
and the ILO. This would then include participation from unions and employers, that structure would operate a
mechanism to ensure that the international trading system does not undermine core labour standards. There
would also be consultation and social dialogue to accompany trade negotiations in the different sectors.

We are nowhere near such a system. Despite some improvement in relations with the WTO secretariat, the
WTO remains essentially closed to civil society as well as isolated from most international organisations in the
UN system. Recently, global unions again launched an initiative to open up the WTO a bit more. (See on the
WTO-GATS page on UNI‘s web site the item ―Global Unions call for WTO consultations on GATS‖.)

At the moment global unions only have little access to the WTO through two channels. One is part of the NGO
(non-governmental organisations) community and the other is for unions to seek indirect access through IGOs
(international governmental organisations). For the indirect way to be effective, the IGOs in question need to
have observer status with the WTO, which is unfortunately not the case for the ILO and the UPU. The ITU
(The International Telecommunication Union) has a Memorandum of Understanding with the WTO.

UNI does have its own relations with the WTO and seeks to facilitate relations between the WTO and its
affiliates. However, most of UNI‘s WTO action is done in close co-operation with the other Global Unions,
especially through their Forum on Trade and International Labour Standards (TILS). TILS activities include
regular policy statements to the WTO, commenting on core labour standards, development, trade, services
and many other areas of trade policy. The ICFTU, which provides the TILS secretariat, issues regular reports
on the labour policies of particular countries and shows how these policies have an impact on trade. The
ICFTU web page on trade and labour standards is at
http://www.icftu.org/focus.asp?Issue=trade&Language=EN .

Unions have a contact
It is useful to know that Bernie Kuiten is a contact for unions at the WTO, he can be contacted on: + 41 22 739
56 76 or by email: bernard.kuiten@wto.org. Mr Kuiten has arranged for WTO officials to attend union
meetings and meetings for union officials with WTO officials at the WTO.

Consultations at the national or regional (EU) level
The WTO guidelines on relations with NGOs say: ―Closer consultation and co-operation with NGOs can also
be met constructively through appropriate processes at the national level where lies primary responsibility for
taking into account the different elements of public interest which are brought to bear on trade policy-making‖.
This amounts to WTO recognition of the diversity of legitimate interests in society and an encouragement for
individual member countries to take them into account.


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Trade unions in all WTO member countries, big or small, should therefore seek to establish with their
governments standing procedures for consultation on WTO affairs. Given the legislative, political nature of the
issues, UNI affiliates will normally want to act in close co-operation with their national trade union centres, just
as UNI itself works with the ICFTU.

UNI‘s roles in supporting affiliates in their national-level consultations include: backing affiliates against
governments that refuse consultations on WTO affairs; replying to requests for information from affiliates,
either directly or by contacting other affiliates, Global Unions or the WTO; monitoring developments at the
WTO and keeping affiliates informed. To date, this has been done mainly through UNI circulars and the WTO-
GATS page on the UNI website at http://www.union-network.org/UNIsite/News_Info/GATS.html

It is very important for UNI affiliates to monitor the positions of their governments and to seek permanent
information and consultations with governments on developments in the services negotiations.



10. Financial transparency and Socially Responsible
      Investment

O
       ne of the reasons we need to highlight the problems of corporate fraud, is that the results of company
       failures mean that many thousands of workers have lost their jobs with the subsequent work force
       reductions and lay offs.

Not only have they lost their jobs from the companies that have failed, but also the unsustainable price
competition practised by companies such as WorldCom, QWEST, and Global Crossing where they engaged in
fraud to prop up their balance sheets has also been one of the major causes of the job losses in the ―non
cheating‖ companies in the telecom sector. This fraudulent behaviour has put enormous pressure on other
carriers to cut costs to match the fraudulent margins of their competitors.

It is essential therefore that the public policy makers address the issue of fraud and unsustainable price
competition.

While many may feel complacent that the companies that have been cited fro fraud have mainly been in the
US, with the telecom industry being global in nature, regardless of the country where the company may
happen to have it‘s headquarters, there have been profound affects inmost other countries as well. WorldCom
for example was Europe‘s largest backbone Internet provider and several thousand jobs have been lost
throughout Europe as a result of it‘s collapse. Global Crossing was a major Asia Pacific carrier and jobs have
been lost in that region from it‘s bankruptcy.

Therefore UNI and UNI affiliates world wide must work to highlight the need for financial transparency and
corporate responsibility.

Engagement over corporate governance issues is not new – but the agenda has now been widened to include
social, environment and ethical performance, with attention being paid especially to companies who are
thought to be operating with insufficient regard for their corporate responsibilities. It involves talking to senior
management as owners and recognises that to exercise fiduciary duty in the 21st century means accepting

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that corporate social and environmental performance can be as important a source of competitive threat or
advantage as other core business issues.

There are as yet no agreed standards for such engagement, and no suitable method of reporting by which its
effectiveness and quality could be assessed but the recent approval of funds by the European Commission for
Eurosif to work on a standard set of Europe-wide voluntary reporting guidelines for SRI at least provides the
prospect of greater transparency of SRI funds in the coming years.

A worldwide initiative is the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI - see www.globalreporting.org ). The GRI seeks to
reduce confusion, harmonise rules of disclosure, and maximise the value of reporting for both reporting
organisations and report users alike. The GRI is an initiative of the United Nations Environment Programme
(UNEP - see www.uneptie.org) and the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI – see www.gesi.org) GeSI was
with the support of UNEP and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

GRI is developing guidelines for social, environmental and economic impact reporting ('so-called 'Triple-
Bottom-Line reporting') by companies. It is NOT a Code of Conduct; but a system to ensure that company
social and environmental reporting is carried out according to agreed and strict international standards -
hopefully rather better than those applied currently to their financial reports! The ICFTU, TUAC and some
GUF's have become engaged in this process in order to defend trade union interests - and Labour has a
specific status in the negotiations that take place within the GRI. In that regard UNI is actively participating in
the development of a telecom supplement to the GRI.

Another area of concern is the greed of CEO‘s and company directors with widespread abuse of stock options.
There has also been other abuses such as personal contracts by Company Directors with other companies
and the use of insider information to participate in the IPO‘s of competitors.

One way workers can highlight their concerns with corporate behaviour is by shareholder initiatives and
resolutions to company Annual Meetings. Shareholder activism already addresses international corporate
practices and international labour issues are a major concern for investors, as shown by the increasing
number of shareholder initiatives devoted to them. Labour unions and union funds have become the largest
single sponsors of shareholder resolutions in the US, where between 200 and 300 resolutions on social and
environmental issues are filed every proxy season3. According to a report from the Investor Responsibility
Research Centre, shareholders have been successful in recent years in persuading a growing number of
companies to either improve their international labour practices or commit to third-party monitoring of them.


UNI Response to the Need for Financial Transparency
        UNI believes that future of the communications industry relies on strong public policy initiatives and
        that specific measures be developed to ensure:
              Full financial disclosure and stronger measures against fraud
              All inside and outside directors should disclose all personal contracts with the firm and there
                must be a ban on the abuse of stock options by senior executives


3
 Should labour be allowed to make shareholder Proposals? by Thomas and Martin published in the
Washington Law Review 1998.

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          UNI will cooperate and work with organisations such as the GRI and Eurosif, and will encourage
          affiliates to do the same, to ensure workers concerns are included in corporate reporting and rules of
          disclosure.

          UNI and affiliates should give consideration to using more shareholder resolutions to put pressure on
          companies to recognise labour standards and to clean up their company practices. In that regard UNI
          Telecom will undertake to provide support and communicate details of actions to affiliates.



11. 3rd Generation Mobile

T
      he Chairman of cross-industry third generation mobile group "The UMTS Forum" has predicted that the
      emergence of the mobile multimedia portal will offer subscribers unprecedented access to personalised
      information and entertainment services4. Refuting suggestions that operators will be hard pressed to
recoup the costs of 3G licensing and associated network roll-out, Dr Eylert stated that a new approach to
content aggregation and delivery will ensure rapid uptake of UMTS services. "UMTS is about much more than
just 'mobile Internet", said Eylert. In the future converged market, new entities such as content providers,
Internet service providers, and virtual mobile network operators will emerge as a conduit to deliver information
to end-users. We will see new ways for individual users to manage and control vast amounts of information
from many diverse sources in order to fulfil their own objectives and interests.

According to Durlacher Research, the total fees of US$110 billion will be paid in Europe for 3G licenses 5.
Operators in three countries will pay approximately 85% of the total license costs. Network operators are now
seeking to cut costs by sharing their UMTS infrastructure. To maximise their revenues operators will open up
their networks to numerous virtual operators who will build attractive services around their existing brand
propositions. UNI believes that the money that Governments received from these licences must now be used
to ensure the viability of the sector and that there is a universal broadband service.

But the present situation shows that the telecommunications industry is currently facing a crisis of confidence,
a debt crisis and a crisis of liquidity. For many observers, the trigger for this development has been the
enormous expense incurred by some companies in acquiring 3G mobile licences.

UNI researched the impact of 3G and published this in 2001 as ―The 3G Debacle, A UNI Response‖. A full
copy of this report is available on the UNI web page at:
http://www.union-network.org/UNIsite/Sectors/Telecommunications/policypapers.html

UNI Response to 3G
          UNI will work to promote measures and to develop public policy to ensure that:

               National governments and regional bodies such as the European Commission should
                encourage the development of applications for 3G so as to increase the use of the networks.
               Companies should be permitted to share the same network to reduce the cost of building 3G-
                network infrastructure and respond to environmental concerns by sharing masts.

4   GSM World Congress Meeting - Cannes, 21 February 2001. Dr. Eylert, "Making Money with 3G Services"
5   Durlacher Research, Report "UMTS-An Investment Perspective"
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              The money received by Governments from 3G licences is used to develop the
               telecommunications infrastructure such as developing a universal broadband network.
              In Europe, there is the creation of a European Regulatory Authority so that Europe can have a
               better, harmonised and co-ordinated approach to telecommunications policy.
              In Europe, the European Commission and national governments should jointly review the
               consequences of the 3G-auction process to ensure that any unintended consequences of
               differing licence costs do not disadvantage one national group of customers as compared to
               others.

        In addition, UNI - Telecom encourages its affiliates to:
             Commit sustained resources to organising and recruiting in the new companies including the
                 3G operators.
             Continue monitoring and tracking developments in the telecommunications industry.
             Explain the importance and relevance of these developments to our members.



12. Number Portability

N
       umber portability has been something that has been around for many years now. However, it has not
       been widely used for numerous reasons, one is of course the cost of transfer fees that companies
       would need to charge.

There is also a problem for operators in having to upgrade their technology to allow them to easily make these
changes. This is especially acute if we start to examine more than just local number portability, let alone
national and international portability. UNI is particularly concerned that this is another cost for operators that
means they will be looking at further ways to cut costs and how their costs can be recovered, invariably this
leads to job cuts!

        UNI response to Number Portability
        UNI and affiliates should raise awareness of the problems that this causes to the workers. We need
        to ensure that the competitors pay the incumbent operators a fair price for the number and for its
        transfer overhead. The number is the same as a product and therefore it is not free.

        We need to ensure that the regulators and the governments talk with the unions and workers in
        regards to this issue. Jobs are at risk at the incumbent operators if they are forced to provide number
        portability facilities to competitors for free.

        UNI needs to ensure that suitable provisions are put in place by the national regulators and
        governments to ensure that the true costs involved are able to be recovered.



13. Data Protection and Privacy

R
       egulation is required on the issue of electronic monitoring. Monitoring of any kind whether electronic,
       voice or video needs to be done with agreement and should be negotiated with the respective union.

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In Europe, The European Parliament recently supported a compromise measure, which means that telecom
and Internet companies may be obliged to retain individual user information on grounds of national security.
Both the Parliament and the Commission had accepted that data storage should only take place for billing and
interconnect reasons, but both have accepted that data can be stored for a ‗limited period‘, suggested at
senior levels as being 12 months, in order to ensure that the legislation can make progress: the directive was
the one remaining outstanding measure in the Commission‘s most recent legislation package.

An additional problem with this legislation is the cost of implementing the data saving measures and the
protection of it over extended periods of time. The costs for Telecom operators are high and governments if
they insist on these measures, must consider covering some of this cost themselves. Many governments
have profited from extracting high licence fees for frequency spectrum which could well be utilised to pay for
demands such as these.

Online rights are also an issue that UNI must continue to examine, for example should management be able to
read emails received and sent by employees?

Most companies now have policies on this and affiliates need to ensure that these policies are understandable
to their members.

UNI Response to Data Protection and Privacy
        UNI should promote a policy that means that companies have to inform workers that emails are being
        scrutinised and inform them of company policy in regards to this. Workers should not be able to have
        disciplinary action taken against them where this is done without knowledge of the person being
        monitored. Workers need to be reminded about any monitoring whether it be telephone, email, video,
        voice monitoring on a regular basis. National Unions need to negotiate this in collective agreements
        and remind their members of the procedures.

        In regards to protection of data, it needs to be clear that this information should be limited and not sold
        to third parties unless approval has been given by the person or company that the file relates to.
        These files should be kept securely and disposed of after a set amount of years where the file is
        inactive.



14. Information Society and the world summit

T
      he information Society World Summit is fast approaching in Geneva December 2003 and in Tunisia
      2005. UNI will be actively participating at these summits, UNI Telecom, UNI IT Sector and the Global
      Union Federations will work closely together to meet our joint interests with this summit. Donations of
over 2 million Swiss francs (approx 1,381,630 US$ or Euros) have been contributed for this historical event.
The main goals of the WSIS are to bridge the digital divide and promote global connectivity. The anticipated
outcome of the Summit is to develop and foster a clear statement of political will and a concrete plan of action
for achieving the goals of the Information Society, while fully reflecting all the different interests at stake.

The global information society is developing rapidly.       The accelerating convergence between
telecommunications, broadcasting multimedia and information and communication technologies (ICTs) is
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driving new products and services, as well as ways of conducting business and commerce. We argue for an
information society based on social inclusivity, equality of opportunity, and cultural diversity, and we do not
believe that the future can be left simply to market forces to shape. We look forward keenly to the
opportunities the WSIS will bring to broaden the international debate about these issues.

UNI Response to the WSIS
        UNI‘s proposals put forward to the WSIS are a framework for the principles on which the information
        society should be created and are as follows:

                  A human rights perspective, based on the principles enshrined in the Universal
                   Declaration of Human Rights (including the right to privacy and the right not to suffer
                   arbitrary interference in communication)
                  An internationalist perspective and vision
                  Support for measures which help close the world‘s economic divides and encourage
                   development and poverty eradication, as identified for example in the UN Millennium
                   Declaration and the International Development Goals
                  Support for developments which strengthen democracy and democratic institutions
                  Support for the principle of easy and affordable access to the technological tools of the
                   information society, and to measures which tackle the digital divide
                  Support for the principle of free access to public information, and of easy and affordable
                   access to the widest possible range of other information
                  Support for developments which improve the position of people at work, including the
                   strengthening of workers‘ rights
                  Support for cultural and linguistic diversity
                  Opposition to undemocratic use of state power
                  Opposition to racism and xenophobia, and to practices which oppress or degrade others
                  Support for the regulated development of ICT-enabled business (e-business), with the
                   aim of generating long-term employment and improved living standards
                  A long-term approach to development based on the principles of sustainability.

        A full copy of UNI‘s draft Submission to the WSIS can be downloaded from on a special web page that
        UNI has on the WSIS at:
        http://www.union-network.org/UNIsite/In_Depth/Interna_Relations/WSIS.html




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       A Summary of UNI Responses to Regulation and
                      Competition
UNI Response to Universal Service
        UNI supports regulatory policies in each nation that encourage investment and universal broadband
        services, rather than competition at the expense of investment and services. UNI and affiliates should
        make this a priority and ensure that the national operators in all countries provide a Universal Service
        at an affordable price to all areas.

        While the need for a quality universal plain old telephone service is essential for all countries. UNI
        also promotes the need to broaden the definition of Universal Service from POTS to affordable
        internet access and also ensure that Broadband is not be excluded from today‘s Universal Service
        policies. (See Chapter 6 Broadband).


UNI Response to Competition and LLU
        In a competitive regulatory framework, UNI supports policies that promote union job growth and
        development of new networks and technologies. It is essential that regulators set the rules for
        competition (pricing, unbundling, interconnection and licensing) to stimulate job-creating network
        investment rather than the failed model of resale competition.

        UNI and affiliates should therefore ensure that these competitors have the same restrictions imposed
        and that they have to pay a fair and reasonable price for investing in the network and its use of other
        companies‘ equipment.

        When awarded licences to operate, competitors must be able to show commitment to this process of
        investment. It cannot be left to one company to pay for it all.

        All affiliates should ensure that their Governments are given a clear indication of the damage that LLU
        is doing to the sector and the effects it is having on the job security of the workers and seek urgent
        discussions on these matters.

        UNI should be demanding that there must be a fair price paid for local loop connections by alternative
        competitors. A price whereby the competitors are paying the time cost of connecting to the network.

        UNI should also be demanding that assistance be given to companies looking at finding technology
        alternatives to the local loop connection.


UNI Response to Broadband
        All customers from all parts of a country, whether urban or rural, should have the right to an affordable
        access to the Internet through Broadband and this should be a priority for UNI and UNI affiliates. The
        future is Broadband! We need to campaign to the national governments, telecom operators and

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        respective regulatory authorities to ensure that all services are provided to ALL customers in ALL
        areas.

        To ensure that this is the case, UNI and affiliates must encourage Governments to ensure that the two
        aspects with the introduction of Broadband are considered. First that the Governments need to take
        action to encourage investment in broadband, by tax incentives, direct subsidies or other means, such
        as making the public sector a ―locomotive for change‖. Second, that the regulators need to develop
        regulations that treat all providers of broadband services, such as cable modem services, direct
        satellite services and traditional telephone companies with their high-speed DSL services in the same
        manner to ensure a level playing field and to encourage investment.

        Some affiliates are already leading the way with activities and campaigns to get Broadband for all and
        this needs to be expanded on an international level with all telecom affiliates of UNI.

        As there are special problems and different solutions for each country, UNI and affiliates should find
        and highlight problem areas and consider what action might be possible to assist with a strategy for
        the implementation broadband.


UNI’s Response to the Digital Divide
        UNI needs to look at various ways at combating the Digital Divide and seam up the split between the
        areas and countries. Action point 6 on UNI‘s Strategic Objectives for 2002-2005 says UNI should
        support initiatives to bridge the digital divide. We now need to carry out this promise with the help of
        all UNI Affiliates. We need to create alliances with the Internet Service Providers (ISP‘s) and phone
        companies to help train and develop a scheme to destroy the digital divide into a thing of the past not
        the future.

        UNI should continue to take an active part and encourage affiliates to participate in the initiatives to
        tackle the digital divide such as World Bank and OECD‘s Dot Force and the ITU‘s Action Plan to
        eliminate the digital divide.

        UNI Telecom is working with the UNI IBITS sector, on this subject as that sector also shares the same
        concerns in this area. In that regard UNI Telecom and IBITS will make joint submissions on this
        matter to the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). For full details on UNI‘s involvement
        in the WSIS see Chapter 13.

        UNI should encourage more affiliates to participate in the UNI Online project to assist UNI affiliates to
        get computer equipment and to get online.


UNI Response to the Protection of Workers with Mergers and
Acquisitions
         UNI needs to try and work with the ILO and Governments to bring in an international agreement that
         protects workers from these mergers. If necessary, mergers can be stopped; UNI and its affiliates
         have proved this in the case of WorldCom and Sprint. But when mergers take place then the issue for
         UNI is the protection of workers. This protection could be set down in an international agreement that
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        could set parameters for the protection of workers, just the same as competition authorities set
        parameters for competition rules with mergers and acquisitions.

        In regards to pension protection, UNI and affiliates should lobby the governments and try to introduce
        a new law that protects the workers pensions and guarantees pension funds, no matter what happens
        to the company. The fate of pension funds should be the first thing that is considered when either
        there is a merger. Or a company is broken up because of sale or bankruptcy. Pension funds should
        have priority to be salvaged from companies rather than paying off the CEO‘s.

        Whenever there is a merger or an acquisition, UNI and affiliates need to ensure that consultation and
        transparency of information between the employer and the unions continues at all stages of the
        merger and that agreements are made to continue any collective bargaining agreement into the new
        merged company.


UNI Response to the WTO and Trade Agreements
        Gain access to the WTO

        The international trade union movement has repeatedly called for some structure bringing together the
        WTO and the ILO. Recently, global unions again launched an initiative to open up the WTO a bit
        more. (See on the WTO-GATS page on UNI‘s web site the item ―Global Unions call for WTO
        consultations on GATS‖.)

        UNI does have its own relations with the WTO and seeks to facilitate relations between the WTO and
        its affiliates. However, most of UNI‘s WTO action is done in close co-operation with the other Global
        Unions, especially through their Forum on Trade and International Labour Standards (TILS). The
        ICFTU, which provides the TILS secretariat, issues regular reports on the labour policies of particular
        countries and shows how these policies have an impact on trade. The ICFTU web page on trade and
        labour standards is at
        http://www.icftu.org/focus.asp?Issue=trade&Language=EN .


        Trade unions in all WTO member countries, big or small, should seek to establish with their
        governments standing procedures for consultation on WTO affairs. Given the legislative, political
        nature of the issues, UNI affiliates will normally want to act in close co-operation with their national
        trade union centres, just as UNI itself works with the ICFTU.

        UNI‘s roles in supporting affiliates in their national-level consultations include: backing affiliates
        against governments that refuse consultations on WTO affairs; replying to requests for information
        from affiliates, either directly or by contacting other affiliates, Global Unions or the WTO; monitoring
        developments at the WTO and keeping affiliates informed. To date, this has been done mainly
        through UNI circulars and the WTO-GATS page on the UNI website at http://www.union-
        network.org/UNIsite/News_Info/GATS.html




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        It is very important for UNI affiliates to monitor the positions of their governments and to seek
        permanent information and consultations with governments on developments in the services
        negotiations.


UNI Response to the Need for Financial Transparency
        UNI believes that future of the communications industry relies on strong public policy initiatives and
        that specific measures be developed to ensure:
              Full financial disclosure and stronger measures against fraud
              All inside and outside directors should disclose all personal contracts with the firm and there
                must be a ban on the abuse of stock options by senior executives

        UNI will cooperate and work with organisations such as the GRI and Eurosif, and will encourage
        affiliates to do the same, to ensure workers concerns are included in corporate reporting and rules of
        disclosure.

        UNI and affiliates should give consideration to using more shareholder resolutions to put pressure on
        companies to recognise labour standards and to clean up their company practices. In that regard UNI
        Telecom will undertake to provide support and communicate details of actions to affiliates.


UNI Response to 3G
        UNI will work to promote measures and to develop public policy to ensure that:

              National governments and regional bodies such as the European Commission should
               encourage the development of applications for 3G so as to increase the use of the networks.
              Companies should be permitted to share the same network to reduce the cost of building 3G-
               network infrastructure and respond to environmental concerns by sharing masts.
              The money received by Governments from 3G licences is used to develop the
               telecommunications infrastructure such as developing a universal broadband network.
              In Europe, there is the creation of a European Regulatory Authority so that Europe can have a
               better, harmonised and co-ordinated approach to telecommunications policy.
              In Europe, the European Commission and national governments should jointly review the
               consequences of the 3G-auction process to ensure that any unintended consequences of
               differing licence costs do not disadvantage one national group of customers as compared to
               others.

        In addition, UNI - Telecom encourages its affiliates to:
             Commit sustained resources to organising and recruiting in the new companies including the
                 3G operators.
             Continue monitoring and tracking developments in the telecommunications industry.
             Explain the importance and relevance of these developments to our members.




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UNI response to Number Portability
        UNI and affiliates should raise awareness of the problems that this causes to the workers. We need
        to ensure that the competitors pay the incumbent operators a fair price for the number and for its
        transfer overhead. The number is the same as a product and therefore it is not free.

        We need to ensure that the regulators and the governments talk with the unions and workers in
        regards to this issue. Jobs are at risk at the incumbent operators if they are forced to provide number
        portability facilities to competitors for free.

        UNI needs to ensure that suitable provisions are put in place by the national regulators and
        governments to ensure that the true costs involved are able to be recovered.


UNI Response to Data Protection and Privacy
        UNI should promote a policy that means that companies have to inform workers that emails are being
        scrutinised and inform them of company policy in regards to this. Workers should not be able to have
        disciplinary action taken against them where this is done without knowledge of the person being
        monitored. Workers need to be reminded about any monitoring whether it be telephone, email, video,
        voice monitoring on a regular basis. National Unions need to negotiate this in collective agreements
        and remind their members of the procedures.

        In regards to protection of data, it needs to be clear that this information should be limited and not sold
        to third parties unless approval has been given by the person or company that the file relates to.
        These files should be kept securely and disposed of after a set amount of years where the file is
        inactive.


UNI Response to the WSIS
        UNI‘s proposals put forward to the WSIS are a framework for the principles on which the information
        society should be created and are as follows:

                  A human rights perspective, based on the principles enshrined in the Universal
                   Declaration of Human Rights (including the right to privacy and the right not to suffer
                   arbitrary interference in communication)
                  An internationalist perspective and vision
                  Support for measures which help close the world‘s economic divides and encourage
                   development and poverty eradication, as identified for example in the UN Millennium
                   Declaration and the International Development Goals
                  Support for developments which strengthen democracy and democratic institutions
                  Support for the principle of easy and affordable access to the technological tools of the
                   information society, and to measures which tackle the digital divide
                  Support for the principle of free access to public information, and of easy and affordable
                   access to the widest possible range of other information
                  Support for developments which improve the position of people at work, including the
                   strengthening of workers‘ rights
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                  Support for cultural and linguistic diversity
                  Opposition to undemocratic use of state power
                  Opposition to racism and xenophobia, and to practices which oppress or degrade others
                  Support for the regulated development of ICT-enabled business (e-business), with the
                   aim of generating long-term employment and improved living standards
                  A long-term approach to development based on the principles of sustainability.

        A full copy of UNI‘s draft Submission to the WSIS can be downloaded from on a special web page that
        UNI has on the WSIS at:
        http://www.union-network.org/UNIsite/In_Depth/Interna_Relations/WSIS.html




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