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Title: Lesotho telecommunications sector reform: an assessment of regulatory governance and substance

Authors: Leboli Zachia Thamae

Addresses: Department of Physics and Electronics, National University of Lesotho, P.O. Roma 180, Lesotho

Abstract: This article presents a review and evaluation of the reach the reform and regulation have extended to the Lesotho telecommunications industry since its return to democratic rule in 1993. It is found that the Government of Lesotho has made huge progress in the reform process by privatising the state-owned utility and establishing an autonomous regulatory body with statutory powers to regulate the telecommunications industry. Even though the independence of the regulator has come under question in the past, a more liberal and competitive sector has been encouraged by the gradual replacements of policies and legislation that impeded its growth. Telecommunications services penetration has improved considerably from 0.75% in 1995 to 78% in 2012, spurred by mobile networks. However, the potential of telecommunications development in Lesotho, like in many small developing African countries, has not been fully utilised, especially in the expansion of internet access.

Keywords: Lesotho; telecommunications reform; telecommunications policy; regulatory governance; regulatory substance; telecommunications industry; privatisation; statutory powers; mobile networks; internet access.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTPL.2015.067965

International Journal of Technology Policy and Law, 2015 Vol.2 No.1, pp.71 - 89

Published online: 12 Mar 2015 *

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