Friday, October 29, 2004 - The Progress & Freedom Foundation Blog

Call Centers and Fiber Optics

The construction and expansion of the global fiber optics network and its effect on labor markets worldwide is arguably one of the most significant developments of the past decade. And while it has taken a back seat to the War on Terror here in the US, it is topic of choice in many other countries (especially Asia). Certainly the offshoring process has garnered attention in this election and US businesses have been the most adaptive at outsourcing, but other national governments are engaged in major reconstruction of legal, educational and private sector practices in response to this phenomenon.

In my MA dissertation titled "The Offshoring of Teleservices, Opportunities and Macroeconomic Effects in Developing Countries," I explore the future possibilities for the export of real-time service jobs performed over a telephone as well as the economic and social implications for recipient countries.

One of the major barriers for countries to absorb back office processing (BOP) work is their heavily regulated telecommunications industries, characterized by high access fees and weak infrastructure. In fact, my paper points to India's telecom reforms of the early and late 1990s as one of the key policy moves that allowed India to capture billions of dollars worth of service employment for their economy. International trade in services is growing, and there will be many opportunities for countries that possess and prioritize an appropriate regulatory framework.

posted by @ 3:28 PM | Communications