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How impact fees and local planning regulation can influence deployment of telecoms infrastructure

  • Gorecki, Paul K.
  • Hennessy, Hugh
  • Lyons, Seán

This paper examines how local government planning regulations and charges affect the deployment of telecommunications infrastructure. We explore the economic rationale for local government regulation of such infrastructure, which we suggest should be based on managing negative externalities. Using data from Ireland, we find that the observed geographical pattern of impact fees is inconsistent with the economic rationale for them. A simple econometric model of the number of telecoms masts in each county also suggests that the level of impact fees is negatively associated with mast deployment. This paper also examines other regulatory factors that affect the provision of new infrastructure. We find wide regional variation in these regulations but are unable to quantify their impact on infrastructure provision. Such regulatory complexity places extra compliance burdens on private operators, which may in turn distort the level and regional pattern of network investment. We suggest further regional harmonisation of development policy towards telecoms infrastructure to avoid exacerbating regional disparities in rollout of services.

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Paper provided by Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) in its series Papers with number WP401.

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Date of creation: Aug 2011
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Handle: RePEc:esr:wpaper:wp401
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  1. Sebastian Brandt & Wolfgang Maennig, 2010. "Perceived Externalities of Cell Phone Base Stations – The Case of Property Prices in Hamburg, Germany," Working Papers 039, Chair for Economic Policy, University of Hamburg.
  2. Alex Anas & Robin Lindsey, 2011. "Reducing Urban Road Transportation Externalities: Road Pricing in Theory and in Practice," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 5(1), pages 66-88, Winter.
  3. J. Peter Clinch & Eoin O'Neill, 2010. "Designing Development Planning Charges: Settlement Patterns, Cost Recovery and Public Facilities," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 47(10), pages 2149-2171, September.
  4. Burge, Gregory & Ihlanfeldt, Keith, 2009. "Development impact fees and employment," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 54-62, January.
  5. Brueckner, Jan K., 1997. "Infrastructure financing and urban development:: The economics of impact fees," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(3), pages 383-407, December.
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