This paper outlines the Bank's approach to telecommunications policy and operations. It brings together the main features of this rapidly changing and growing sector, identifies key policy issues and options, and draws some implications for Bank operations and work practices. The paper was prepared with participation of numerous staff and managers and reflects a considerable degree of consensus. Where important differences of approach subsist, the paper seeks to clarify the alternatives and their relative merits rather than come down on one side of the debate. This paper does not discuss strategy in specific regions, nor the Bank's role in telecommunications manufacturing. It links telecommunications to economic development strategy and examines the sector's constraints and changing organization, and reviews the Bank's past involvement. The paper also discusses the Bank's changing role and strategy in the medium term, focusing on key issues and policy tools. Finally, some implications for the Bank's operations are examined.