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Development of High-speed Networks and the Role of Municipal Networks

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  • Bengt G. Mölleryd

Abstract

All OECD countries recognise the benefits that stem from high speed broadband networks and have made tremendous progress in recent years in fostering their deployment. Nonetheless, many challenges remain in terms of how to enhance and expand these networks to meet the growing demands of an increasingly digital economy and society. Although private investments have been the overwhelming source of finance for high speed networks in OECD countries, municipal networks have been used in a number of OECD countries to fill gaps or provide substantial areas of service in a region, city or smaller town and surrounding locations. This report examines some of the experience with these municipal broadband networks in selected OECD countries. Municipal networks are defined here as high speed networks that have been fully or partially facilitated, built, operated or financed by local governments, public bodies, utilities, organisations, or co-operatives that have some type of public involvement. The models and experience of these networks have varied from being highly successful to not meeting expectations. In some cases, they have provided welcome competition by offering an alternative infrastructure and have opened the market for retail Internet service providers by separating the basic infrastructure from services. In other cases, they have enabled the use of shared infrastructure. Some have built on a long tradition of municipalities providing services from entities owned by them, such as the provision of utility services like energy, water, gas, or cable television. Some have involved public private partnerships, others have been privatised following initial public ownership and some are community driven.

Suggested Citation

  • Bengt G. Mölleryd, 2015. "Development of High-speed Networks and the Role of Municipal Networks," OECD Science, Technology and Industry Policy Papers 26, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:stiaac:26-en
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/5jrqdl7rvns3-en
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