Remake “Universal Services”

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Digital Divide Institute has developed a model for reinventing “universal services obligation (USO)” funds, in which developing nations impose a tax on their telecommunications operators worth about $12 billion collectively in 2020. The purpose of USO is to complement commercial investment by enabling telecommunications to meaningfully serve remote and low-income users. In many countries the money is poorly managed, misspent and unspent. In an effort to align universal service spending with the new dynamics of digital economies, Digital Divide Institute was asked by the Republic of Indonesia to develop a model called USO X 8.  It would activate $8 in market-based spending for every $1 spent in USO funds serving lowincome and remote populations. 

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