Toward a New Concept of Universal Services: The Role of Digital Mobile Services and Network Neutrality
The rapid expansion of new digital services on the Internet and the growing use of mobile Internet services have put rising peak loads on the Internet networks, therefore congestion problems at certain times of the day have started to slow down digital traffic in OECD countries and many other countries. Congestion problems basically can be overcome by adequate investment into communication networks or by differentiated prices for low-volume users and high-volume users. It is important to consider Internet network effects – this implies that digital (Internet) universal services could have positive national and international spill-over effects. At the same time the opportunity costs of internet congestion have to be taken into account. Differentiated concepts of net neutrality therefore are adequate: User charges could differentiate with respect to volume or time.
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