The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore stakeholder knowledge and perceptions regarding their role in establishing sustainable competition in the US telecommunications industry. The problem explored was that increased competition and lower prices for consumers following implementation of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 has not occurred. A consumer survey, interviews, and a focus group were used to explore the factors that influenced consumer decisions to refrain from or to switch telecommunication service providers. Participants of this study came from a cross section of telecommunications consumers. The survey had a total of 59 respondents; there were nine interview participants, and a six-member focus group. Over half 34 (58%) of the survey respondents believed the Telecommunications Act either did not result in better customer service or they were not certain the Act impacted customer service. When asked about factors related to how they selected landline, cell and Internet providers, participants focused on pricing and quality of service, and how those services were bundled. Participants indicated they were open to paying a little more for higher quality internet and cell phone service. The issue for cell phones was twofold coverage (range) and data use, in particular streaming data. Participants indicated that for all three products a 25% or greater price savings may motivate them to switch providers, but the response rate for 40% plus of price savings actually went down. The survey instrument, interviews, and the focus group provided substantive evidence that stakeholders were equipped to make very well informed decisions regarding their telecommunications services. Nothing in the survey, interviews, or focus group session indicated a gap of knowledge or any doubt on behalf of any respondent or participants that there was a need for additional information. Regulators, providers, and lawmakers must learn experiences of the past and use those lessons in the design of new approaches that consider both consumers and providers as well as coping with changing technologies and product substitution; delineation, restriction, or impositions of product and service restrictions are propositions and phenomenon requiring further study.
|Advisor:||McClendon, Cristie, Shaw, Melanie|
|Department:||School of Business and Technology Management|
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||DAI-B 76/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Behavioral psychology, Law, Information Technology|
|Keywords:||Consumer, Deregulation, Regulation, Service provider, Telecommunications|
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