The Optimum Role of Governments in Space
Historically, governments have played the major role in initiating and funding space exploration and space applications, including defense systems. The sector of satellite-based telecommunication is the only one where the commercial market started playing a strong role as early as the 1980s. Ever since, this sector developed independently of government funding but Governments continued playing a strong regulatory role, for example by disbanding former national telecommunication monopolies in Europe and by encouraging increased competition. This led in the 1990s to the transformation of Intelsat, Inmarsat and Eutelsat from international government organisations to private sector commercial operators.