IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Broadband regulation and government investment in nationwide ultra fast fribre broadband networks: Evidence from New Zealand

Listed author(s):
  • Howell, Bronwyn
Registered author(s):

    New Zealand stands apart from its OECD counterparts as one of the few countries pursuing government investment in a nationwide fibre network. As in the past, when it stood apart with its 'light-handed' regulatory approach, New Zealand's experience can inform other jurisdictions. This paper contributes by documenting and analysing the chronological history of the key political, regulatory and industry actions taken to implement the government fibre investment policy, between 2008 and September 2013. The chronology reveals an industry currently in considerable disarray. A critical political economy and industrial organisation-based analysis proposes that the incremental and pathdependent nature of the evolution of New Zealand's industry-specific regulatory environment resulted in a set of arrangements ill-suited to oversee the transition from a copper-based to a fibrebased fixed line access infrastructure. It contends that the current disarray was an inevitable outcome of a lack of co-ordinated oversight of sector policy and governance that allowed the fibre network investment to proceed without clearly-articulated overarching and forward-looking competition and regulation policies integrating legacy regulations and investments into the fundamentally different environment created by the government's revolutionary fibre policy. The result was the fragmentation of regulatory responsibility across many parties on the basis of network technology type. Consequently, each pursued its own objectives in isolation from the others, which led to a crisis in December 2012 when a regulatory decision about copper prices threatened the viability of the fibre project. Absence of clear and co-ordinated leadership of sector strategy in response to the crisis has resulted in the government's integrity being undermined and a loss of confidence amongst private sector investors.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by International Telecommunications Society (ITS) in its series 24th European Regional ITS Conference, Florence 2013 with number 88469.

    in new window

    Date of creation: 2013
    Handle: RePEc:zbw:itse13:88469
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    in new window

    1. Bourreau, Marc & Cambini, Carlo & Hoernig, Steffen, 2012. "Ex ante regulation and co-investment in the transition to next generation access," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 399-406.
    2. de Boer, David Boles & Evans, Lewis, 1996. "The Economic Efficiency of Telecommunications in a Deregulated Market: The Case of New Zealand," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 72(216), pages 24-35, March.
    3. Bernardo Bortolotti & Carlo Cambini & Laura Rondi & Yossi Spiegel, 2011. "Capital Structure and Regulation: Do Ownership and Regulatory Independence Matter?," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(2), pages 517-564, June.
    4. P.W.J. De Bijl, 2005. "Structural Separation and Access in Telecommunications Markets," Competition and Regulation in Network Industries, Intersentia, vol. 6(2), pages 95-115, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zbw:itse13:88469. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (ZBW - German National Library of Economics)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.