Forced-access regulation
Forced-access regulation refers to any regulation
Regulation is administrative legislation that constitutes or constrains rights and allocates responsibilities. It can be distinguished from primary legislation on the one hand and judge-made law on the other...

 put into place by the state forcing private communication carriers to allow its competitors to use their networks for their own business purposes.

The common justification put forth for forced-access is that doing so promotes competition, because it is too costly for smaller firms to build a new network.

In the United States, Congress passed the Telecommunications Act of 1996
Telecommunications Act of 1996
The Telecommunications Act of 1996 was the first major overhaul of United States telecommunications law in nearly 62 years, amending the Communications Act of 1934. This Act, signed by President Bill Clinton, was a major stepping stone towards the future of telecommunications, since this was the...

 which forced local telephone companies
Telephone company
A telephone company is a service provider of telecommunications services such as telephony and data communications access. Many were at one time nationalized or state-regulated monopolies...

 to share their lines with competitors at regulated rates if "the failure to provide access to such network elements would impair the ability of the telecommunications carrier seeking access to provide the services that it seeks to offer." (Section 251(3)(2)(B))

Whether forced-access is conducive to a competitive environment and/or low prices is a matter of debate among economists.

See also

  • Unbundled Access
    Unbundled Access
    Unbundled access is an often practiced form of regulation during liberalization, where new entrants of the market are offered access to facilities of the incumbent, that are hard to duplicate...

  • Product bundling
    Product bundling
    Product bundling is a marketing strategy that involves offering several products for sale as one combined product. This strategy is very common in the software business , in the cable television industry Product bundling is a marketing strategy that involves offering several products for sale as...

  • Open access (infrastructure)
    Open Access (Infrastructure)
    In the context of infrastructure, open access involves physical infrastructure such as railways and physical telecommunications network plant being made available to clients other than the owners, for a fee....

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