Although the growth of information and communication technologies and applications (ICTs) has been
exponential, governments in developing countries face a very difficult challenge in directing this growth so that it contributes to human development goals, including the reduction of poverty. Using voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) as an illustrative case, this paper will argue that there is a need to carefully design public policy interventions, rather than relying solely on the market, to reap development benefits from ICTs.
There is a dominant school of thought within ICT policy and regulation that places great faith in the power of markets. Within that framework, it is argued that market liberalisation that increases the number of suppliers
operating in a market, leads to falling prices, increases in the range of applications and quality of service and to development. But markets do not actually behave as neoclassical economics textbooks predict and development is a much more complicated process than suggested in these frameworks.