'The most important innovation (in recent regulatory policy)', notes Sir Christopher Foster, an eminent British expert in the field, 'has been the realisation that there is no compelling reason why a monopolist should have the exclusive right to use its distribution network'
Removing this exclusive right -- thereby allowing a range of firms to compete in delivering services over that distribution network -- is, however, no easy matter. Rather, it has become one of the central, but also most complex and controversial, tasks of regulatory authorities.
The essence of this task is the creation of rights of access by third parties to some part of the incumbent operator’s facilitates. This paper examines the issues which arise in the definition and implementation of these rights. The main arguments can be readily summarised.