An assessment of the policy and regulatory outcome by the telecom services users: The emerging economy study

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Pankaj Mishra ORCID logo, Netra Pal Singh ORCID logo, Ayesha Farooq ORCID logo

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Outcome-based policy evaluation is an established practice in the distributive and redistributive public policies. Such practices are not evident for competitive regulatory policies of telecom, especially in India. This study bridges this research gap by carrying out an outcome-based evaluation of telecom policy and highlighting the importance of such evaluation. Using the methodological pluralism model from Schalock (2002), the outcome of India’s telecom policies was evaluated. Outcome measures from the vision statement of telecom policy were appraised by telecom users by responding to a structured questionnaire-based survey. Factor analysis confirmed that our survey instrument measured the identified policy outcomes. Regression analysis confirmed that users’ appraisal was based on their experiences of telecom services. Against five policy outcome measures, the survey respondents agreed on the achievement of affordability of services: 68.9% of the respondents found telecom services not secure; 74.7% of the survey respondents indicated an issue with quality; 55.6% of the respondents did not agree that the services are available anytime, anywhere. Outcome measures like telephone density (teledensity) as adopted by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and Department of Telecommunications (DoT) are not the true representative of policy outcome. A multistakeholder policy evaluation will reveal the actual policy outcomes. International Telecommunications Union (ITU) should establish a standardized framework for outcome-based policy evaluation to address such issues.

Keywords: Policy Evaluation, Telecom Policy, Outcome Evaluation, Availability, Quality, Security, Reliability

Authors’ individual contribution: Conceptualization — P.M.; Methodology —P.M., N.P.S., and A.F.; Resources — N.P.S. and A.F.; Data Curation — P.M. and N.P.S.; Writing — Original Draft — P.M.; Writing — Review & Editing — P.M. and N.P.S.; Supervision — N.P.S. and A.F.

Declaration of conflicting interests: The Authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.

JEL Classification: L38, L96, L98, C38, K23, L52

Received: 07.11.2021
Accepted: 05.05.2022
Published online: 09.05.2022

How to cite this paper: Mishra, P., Singh, N. P., & Farooq, A. (2022). An assessment of the policy and regulatory outcome by the telecom services users: The emerging economy study [Special issue]. Journal of Governance & Regulation, 11(2), 218–233.