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Next Generation Access and Digital Divide: Opposite Sides of the Same Coin?

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  • Dolente, Cosimo
  • Galea, John Joseph
  • Leporelli, Claudio
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    Abstract

    Geographical averaging of retail and wholesale prices could distort incentives for bypass entry in both the metropolitan and the high-cost areas. The two-instrument approach to universal service support, proposed in (Armstrong, 2001), could enhance efficiency, through competitive and technological neutrality. Alternatively, the industry support to high cost areas could be substituted by redistributive fiscal measures or public subsidies. Using evidence from Italy we suggest that tackling demographic, educational, and income inequalities is necessary, even in low cost areas, to support further broadband penetration. We estimate logistic regressions of Internet and broadband use at home, and show that a substantial increase of broadband penetration is possible in Italy only if specific platforms and applications are made available to older and less educated households. Therefore, a critical mass of services could help reaching the critical mass of users that make Next Generation Access Networks viable. --

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by International Telecommunications Society (ITS) in its series 21st European Regional ITS Conference, Copenhagen 2010: Telecommunications at new crossroads - Changing value configurations, user roles, and regulation with number 9.

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    Date of creation: 2010
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:itse10:9

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    Web page: http://www.itseurope.org/

    Related research

    Keywords: Infrastructural Digital divide; Cultural Digital Divide; Geographical crosssubsidies; Efficient bypass; Critical mass of services;

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    References

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    1. Hoernig, Steffen & Pita Barros, Pedro Luis & Valletti, Tommaso, 2001. "Universal Service and Entry: the Role of Uniform Pricing and Coverage Constraints," CEPR Discussion Papers 2789, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Gasmi, F. & Laffont, J. J. & Sharkey, W. W., 2000. "Competition, universal service and telecommunications policy in developing countries," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 221-248, September.
    3. Savage, Scott James & Waldman, Donald M., 2009. "Ability, location and household demand for Internet bandwidth," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 166-174, March.
    4. H. Cremer & F. Gasmi & A. Grimaud & J. J. Laffont, 2001. "Universal Service: An economic perspective," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 72(1), pages 5-43, 03.
    5. Hauge, Janice A. & Chiang, Eric P. & Jamison, Mark A., 0. "Whose call is it? Targeting universal service programs to low-income households' telecommunications preferences," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(3-4), pages 129-145, April.
    6. Gregory Rosston & Scott Savage & Donald Waldman, 2010. "Household Demand for Broadband Internet Service," Discussion Papers 09-008, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, revised Feb 2010.
    7. Mark Armstrong, 2001. "Access Pricing, Bypass, and Universal Service," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 297-301, May.
    8. Castelli, Francesco & Leporelli, Claudio, 1993. "Critical mass of users versus critical mass of services in a multiproduct information service system," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 331-355, December.
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