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Access regulation, competition, and broadband penetration: An international study

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  • Bouckaert, Jan
  • van Dijk, Theon
  • Verboven, Frank

Abstract

The evolution of broadband penetration has shown substantial differences between OECD countries. This paper empirically investigates to what extent different forms of regulated competition explain these international differences. It distinguishes three modes of competition between broadband internet access providers that result from regulatory policies: (1) inter-platform competition; (2) facilities-based intra-platform competition; and (3) service-based intra-platform competition. In most countries these forms of competition co-exist although their intensity varies from country to country. Intra-platform competition may differ among countries depending on the degree of mandatory access obligations imposed by the regulator on the dominant network firm. Based on a sample of OECD countries, the analysis finds that inter-platform competition has been a main driver of broadband penetration. The two types of intra-platform competition have a considerably smaller effect on the broadband penetration. Linking these findings back to access regulation suggests that the "stepping stone" or "ladder of investment" theories might not provide the justification to impose extensive mandatory access obligations on DSL incumbents.

Suggested Citation

  • Bouckaert, Jan & van Dijk, Theon & Verboven, Frank, 2010. "Access regulation, competition, and broadband penetration: An international study," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(11), pages 661-671, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:telpol:v:34:y:2010:i:11:p:661-671
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