Do market failures hamper the perspectives of broadband?
This report analyses the broadband market and asks whether a specific role of government is necessary. As broadband telecommunication is seen as a source of productivity gains, the European Union and other regions are encouraging the deployment of a secure broadband infrastructure. In the Netherlands, there is some concern whether the supply of broadband capacity will meet the strongly increasing demand. The main conclusions are that presently, given current broadband policy, no considerable market failures exist. Firms have adequate incentives to invest in broadband, partly induced by specific regulation of access to the local copper loop. Hence, there is no need for changes in current broadband policy. Market failures in terms of knowledge spillovers are taken care of by other policies. As the broadband markets are very dynamic, unforeseen developments may emerge such as the appearance of new dominant techniques and market players. The best strategy for the government, in particular the competition authority, is to continuously monitor these markets, making timely intervention easier when needed.
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