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The digital divide problem: An economic interpretation of the Japanese experience


  • Yuguchi, Kiyotaka


This study presents an economic analysis of Japan's attempt to address the geographical digital divide problem for broadband and mobile telephone services. To receive broadband service local inhabitants make voluntary contributions, which are matched by a municipal subsidy. The approach is effective in terms of economic efficiency and equity. Importantly, as fixed broadband service is provided locally the benefits are limited to local inhabitants. By contrast, mobile service is provided via a spectrum user fee system. That is, for mobile telecommunication services, no universal service fund exists. The underlying rationale is that subscribers are beneficiaries and commercial decision-making should be left to mobile operators.

Suggested Citation

  • Yuguchi, Kiyotaka, 2008. "The digital divide problem: An economic interpretation of the Japanese experience," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 340-348, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:telpol:v:32:y:2008:i:5:p:340-348

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    1. repec:bla:devpol:v:35:y:2017:i:2:p:137-160 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Srinuan, Chalita & Bohlin, Erik, 2011. "Understanding the digital divide: A literature survey and ways forward," 22nd European Regional ITS Conference, Budapest 2011: Innovative ICT Applications - Emerging Regulatory, Economic and Policy Issues 52191, International Telecommunications Society (ITS).


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