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Privatising networked services / The Model fo Electricity Sector in the United Kingdom

Anno XXXIII, n. 143, gennaio-febbraio 1998
Centro Einaudi


Testo disponibile solo in lingua inglese.
This essay describes the way in which networked services have been privatised in the United Kingdom, focusing on two aspects in particular: first, the original decision to introduce price caps for British Telecom services when the company was privatised in 1984; second, the experience of the British electricity industry after privatisation. These two cases illustrate the development and effects of the shift to private ownership, of the introduction of a system of competition and of the new style of regulation. Although price control based on the RPI-X formula has entailed a certain amount of regulation, comparison with the previous situation suggests that it is reasonable to define the provisions adopted as deregulation. In general, a system of competition has developed capable of challenging the dominant positions of the previous monopoly-holders, efficiency has increased, prices have dropped and service quality has improved.