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Broadband Internet: Open Access and Content Competition


  • Christiaan Hogendorn

    () (Economics Department, Wesleyan University)


Broadband “open access” regulation mandates openness of conduits (e.g. upgraded cable television) to service providers (e.g. America Online), but policy discussion often suggests that the ultimate goal is openness to advanced content (streaming video, interactive e-commerce, etc.). We define two forms of regulation, open access and common carriage, and discuss when they are equivalent. We argue that they are quite different in local access broadband. We develop a systems model with free entry and competition in all three industry segments (conduits, service providers, and content) and examine how open access regulation affects the number of firms in each. We confirm the view that an open access requirement can reduce entry of physical conduits, and more surprising we also describe conditions under which it can reduce the amount of content available to consumers.

Suggested Citation

  • Christiaan Hogendorn, 2004. "Broadband Internet: Open Access and Content Competition," Wesleyan Economics Working Papers 2004-002, Wesleyan University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:wes:weswpa:2004-002

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jeffrey Church & Neil Gandal, 2000. "Systems Competition, Vertical Merger, and Foreclosure," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(1), pages 25-51, March.
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    3. Faulhaber, Gerald R & Hogendorn, Christiaan, 2000. "The Market Structure of Broadband Telecommunications," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(3), pages 305-329, September.
    4. Tasneem Chipty, 2001. "Vertical Integration, Market Foreclosure, and Consumer Welfare in the Cable Television Industry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 428-453, June.
    5. Byong-Duk Rhee, 1996. "Consumer Heterogeneity and Strategic Quality Decisions," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 42(2), pages 157-172, February.
    6. Gehrig, Thomas, 1998. "Competing markets," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 277-310, February.
    7. Rubinfeld, Daniel L & Singer, Hal J, 2001. "Vertical Foreclosure in Broadband Access?," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(3), pages 299-318, September.
    8. Church, Jeffrey & Gandal, Neil, 1992. "Network Effects, Software Provision, and Standardization," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(1), pages 85-103, March.
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    More about this item


    open access; broadband;

    JEL classification:

    • L1 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance
    • L5 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy
    • L9 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities


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