The Nature, Timing and Impact of Broadband Policies: a Panel Analysis of 30 OECD Countries
We empirically investigate the impact of a vast array of public policies on wireline broadband penetration through a novel and unique dataset covering 30 OECD countries, over 1995-2010. We find that while both supply and demand-side policies have a positive effect on broadband penetration, their relative impact depends on the actual stage of broadband diffusion. When an advanced stage is reached, only demand-side policies appear to generate a positive and increasing effect. Moreover, both technological and market competition play a positive role, and the effect of the latter shows a non-linear path along the stage of market development. Finally, the relative weight of the service sector in the national economy reveals to be crucial for broadband penetration. Our analysis provides new insights into the policy debate and in particular on the rationale of a selective policy design for broadband penetration and, in perspective, for the rollout of next-generation networks.
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