Posted by: Costas Troulos | May 14, 2008

Framing a National Broadband Policy

Yesterday I read Robert Atkinson’s “Framing a National Broadband Policy“, a very good introduction to the challenges, benefits and implementation tradeoffs of a National Broadband Policy.

In my view, the best parts of the paper are:

Section IV: where the author explains briefly the notion of network externalities and discuss how Broadband Access exhibits similar qualities and

Section V: where the author discusses the various tradeoffs of implementing a national broadband policy.

The question then becomes what the priorities of that policy should be. The answer is any-thing but straightforward. Advocates of a more proactive broadband policy advance at least seven different goals, including: (1) expanding access to more geographic areas; (2) expanding adoption rates, particularly by low-income households; (3) ensuring low costs for service providers; (4) ensuring low prices for consumers; (5) spurring higher speeds; (6) boosting competition among service providers; and (7) guaranteeing an open, neutral network.

A good read and source of policy thinking. Although the broadband situation in US (market structure, country’s priorities, Government involvement etc.) is very different from that in Greece and Europe, most of the ideas presented in the article provide real material for thorough study.


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