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Natural Experiments in U.S. Broadband Regulation


  • Hazlett Thomas W.

    (Director, Information Economy Project, George Mason University)

  • Caliskan Anil

    (Information Economy Project, George Mason University)


Regulations governing broadband networks are being considered. Natural experiments conducted with respect to "open access" rules yield probative marketplace evidence. Using the metric of subscribership, policy regimes are compared. Prior to 1Q2003, cable modem service was unregulated (and has remained so), while digital subscriber lines (DSL) were subject to network unbundling mandates. Those rules were effectively lifted in 1Q2003 and 3Q2005. Across regimes, subscriber growth appears significantly and negatively correlated with regulation. By year-end 2006, DSL subscribership was about 65% above the trend established in the regulated pre-1Q2003 era, a difference of eight to ten million households.

Suggested Citation

  • Hazlett Thomas W. & Caliskan Anil, 2008. "Natural Experiments in U.S. Broadband Regulation," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 7(4), pages 1-21, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:rneart:v:7:y:2008:i:4:n:2
    DOI: 10.2202/1446-9022.1158

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    Cited by:

    1. Briglauer, Wolfgang & Stocker, Volker & Stockhammer, Paul, 2019. "Ist Netzneutralität tatsächlich gut? Eine Neubewertung vor dem Hintergrund der Regulierung in den USA und in der EU sowie aktueller Forschungsergebnisse," Policy Notes 38, EcoAustria – Institute for Economic Research.
    2. Glass, Victor & Tardiff, Timothy, 2019. "A new direction for the net neutrality debate," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 199-212.
    3. Thomas Hazlett & Dennis Weisman, 2011. "Market Power in US Broadband Services," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 38(2), pages 151-171, March.
    4. Yongmin Chen & Scott J Savage, 2011. "The Effects of Competition on the Price for Cable Modem Internet Access," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(1), pages 201-217, February.
    5. Ford George S., 2018. "Net Neutrality and Investment in the US: A Review of Evidence from the 2018 Restoring Internet Freedom Order," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 17(3), pages 175-205, September.
    6. Thomas W. Hazlett & Joshua D. Wright, 2017. "The Effect of Regulation on Broadband Markets: Evaluating the Empirical Evidence in the FCC’s 2015 “Open Internet” Order," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 50(4), pages 487-507, June.
    7. Koning, Kendall J. & Yankelevich, Aleksandr, 2018. "From internet “Openness” to “Freedom”: How far has the net neutrality pendulum swung?," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 37-45.
    8. David Sappington & Dennis Weisman, 2012. "Regulating regulators in transitionally competitive markets," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 41(1), pages 19-40, February.
    9. Fredebeul-Krein, Markus, 2016. "Towards trade facilitation via regulatory convergence: An analysis of the TTIP chapter on Electronic Communications," 27th European Regional ITS Conference, Cambridge (UK) 2016 148668, International Telecommunications Society (ITS).
    10. Stocker Volker & Knieps Guenter, 2018. "Network Neutrality Through the Lens of Network Economics," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 17(3), pages 115-150, September.

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