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Productivity Questions for Public Sector Fast Fibre Network Financiers

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Author Info

  • Bronwyn HOWELL

    (New Zealand Institute for the Study of Competition and Regulation; Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.)

  • Arthur GRIMES

    (Motu Economic and Public Policy Research; University of Waikato, New Zealand.)

Abstract

Fast internet access is widely considered to be a productivity-enhancing factor. However, despite promises of substantial gains from its deployment, the evidence from recent empirical studies suggests that the productivity gains may not be as large as originally hypothesised. If substantiated, these findings suggest that current government plans to apply significant sums to bring forward the deployment of fast fibre networks (e.g. in both Australia and New Zealand) may not generate returns to the extent anticipated by their sponsors. Drawing upon the original ‘computer productivity paradox’ literature, this paper develops a critical questioning framework to assist policy-makers in identifying the salient productivity issues to be addressed when making the decision to apply scarce public resources to faster broadband network deployment. Using multiple literatures, the framework highlights the nuanced and highly complex ways in which broadband network speed may affect productivity, both positively and negatively. Policy-makers need to be satisfied that, on balance, government-funded investments in faster networks will likely generate the anticipated net benefits, given the significant uncertainties that are identified.

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File URL: http://repec.idate.fr/RePEc/idt/journl/CS7807/CS78_HOWELL_GRIMES.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by IDATE, Com&Strat dept. in its journal Communications & Strategies.

Volume (Year): 1 (2010)
Issue (Month): 78 (2nd quarter)
Pages: 127-146

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Handle: RePEc:idt:journl:cs7807

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Keywords: Internet; broadband; productivity; public investment;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Haller, Stefanie A. & Lyons, Sean, 2012. "Broadband adoption and firm productivity: evidence from Irish manufacturing firms," MPRA Paper 42626, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Mark Obren & Bronwyn Howell, 2014. "The tyranny of distance prevails: HTTP protocol latency and returns to fast fibre internet access network deployment in remote economies," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer, Springer, vol. 52(1), pages 65-85, January.
  3. Arthur Grimes, 2011. "Building Bridges: Treating a New Transport Link as a Real Option," Working Papers, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research 11_12, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.
  4. Rohman, Ibrahim Kholilul & Bohlin, Erik, 2012. "Does broadband speed really matter for driving economic growth? Investigating OECD countries," 23rd European Regional ITS Conference, Vienna 2012 60385, International Telecommunications Society (ITS).
  5. Howell, Bronwyn, 2012. "Competition and Regulation Policy in Antipodean Government-Funded UltraFast Fibre Broadband Markets," Working Paper Series 2787, Victoria University of Wellington, The New Zealand Institute for the Study of Competition and Regulation.
  6. Van der Wee, Marlies & Driesse, Menno & Vandersteegen, Bernd & Van Wijnsberge, Pierre & Verbrugge, Sofie & Sadowski, Bert & Pickavet, Mario, 2012. "Identifying and quantifying the indirect benefits of broadband networks: A bottom-up approach," 19th ITS Biennial Conference, Bangkok 2012: Moving Forward with Future Technologies - Opening a Platform for All 72484, International Telecommunications Society (ITS).
  7. Bert Sadowski, 2014. "Consumer Cooperatives as a new Governance Form: The Case of the Cooperatives in the Broadband Industry," Working Papers, Eindhoven Center for Innovation Studies 14-03, Eindhoven Center for Innovation Studies, revised Feb 2014.

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