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Go for Gigabit? First Evidence on Economic Benefits of (Ultra-)Fast Broadband Technologies in Europe

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  • Briglauer, Wolfgang
  • Gugler, Klaus

Abstract

The literature on the effects of telecommunications infrastructure investments find positive macroeconomic effects, however, it is severely constrained because it could hitherto only analyze investment up to "basic" broadband but not up to the newer generations of "fast" and "ultra-fast" broadband; in particular there is no such evidence available at the EU level so far. Utilizing a comprehensive panel dataset of EU27 member states for the period from 2003-2015, we estimate a small but significant effect of fiber-based ultra-fast broadband over and above the effects of basic broadband on GDP. Adoption of hybrid-fiber fast broadband is incrementally to basic broadband insignificant. Our cost-benefit analysis implies that policy intervention – as foreseen by the European Commission in its public policy targets – is only justified for coverage and adoption levels of around 50% of fast or ultra-fast broadband, whereas for 100% coverage levels we find net losses to society. Thus, it appears that – for the time being and according to the policy principle of "technological neutrality" – a combination of basic broadband, fast and ultra-fast broadband entails the largest economic net benefits to society.

Suggested Citation

  • Briglauer, Wolfgang & Gugler, Klaus, 2018. "Go for Gigabit? First Evidence on Economic Benefits of (Ultra-)Fast Broadband Technologies in Europe," 29th European Regional ITS Conference, Trento 2018 184935, International Telecommunications Society (ITS).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:itse18:184935
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Briglauer, Wolfgang & Stocker, Volker & Whalley, Jason, 2018. "Public Policy Targets in EU Broadband Markets: The Role of Technological Neutrality," 29th European Regional ITS Conference, Trento 2018 184936, International Telecommunications Society (ITS).
    2. Vogelsang, Ingo, 2019. "Has Europe missed the endgame of telecommunications policy?," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 1-10.
    3. Falk, Martin & Hagsten, Eva, 2021. "Impact of high-speed broadband access on local establishment dynamics," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(4).
    4. Abrardi, Laura & Cambini, Carlo, 2019. "Ultra-fast broadband investment and adoption: A survey," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 183-198.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
    • L96 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Telecommunications

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