Conference paper

Pedestrian crossings and superhighway robbery: sources of market power in broadband

22 Aug 2008

In a world where ubiquitous and affordable broadband availability is the key to unlocking the benefits of the information society, obstacles remain to the deployment of appropriate access networks. Traditionally, an analysis of the potential problems from a regulatory perspective would involve consideration of whether any players control bottlenecks or have significant market power in the market for carriage services. Such an approach is likely to prompt the forms of regulatory intervention which have been successful in the past or which have been applied overseas.

This paper suggests that the analysis, at least from a technical perspective, of the benefits of ubiquitous broadband should have as its primary aim the creation of a vibrant market for applications and services. As a result of the nature of the next generation network (NGN), the focus of regulatory intervention should be on access to services (and not physical network elements) in the NGN access network. In the nascent market for the delivery of broadband services that can support a rich media experience, the current concern need not be about market power. The real issue is how to regulate the delivery of the applications and the services that ubiquitous and affordable broadband can provide. Any regulatory intervention associated with the deployment of a national broadband network should focus, as it has in Europe, on workable competition in the NGN access network." In Rod Shogren's paper Paper presented to ACCC conference 24 July 2008

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