The new Telecom Deregulation Policy [Download 13 Page Document in RTF Format] has been announced opening up the voice market for competition. Twenty-year long licenses for Long Distance and Local Loop operations would be awarded for $500,000 and $10,000 respectively to any party interested in obtaining one. Elegibility critaria includes strict financial and technical requirements as well as an open public hearing. Three percent of the annual gross revenue of the new operators would go for research & development and universal service fund. The policy itself is valid for 5 years, a good amount of time to buy investors' confidence. Telecom service rates (of the new operators) would not be regulated by PTA until they attain SMP -- Singificant Market Power.