Broadband: Should We Regulate High-Speed Internet
Access by Robert W. Crandall et al (The Brookings Institution)
Providing a state-of-the-art analysis of the economics of broadband, researchers
and scholars contribute essays with varied and sometimes opposing views on how
to regulate high-speed Internet service. Alleman (Columbia Institute of
Teleinformation) and Crandall (economic studies, Brookings Institution) edit 12
essays with topics including the demand for bandwidth: evidence from the INDEX
project; competition and regulation in broadband communications; and the
financial effects of broadband regulation.
widespread concern in the telecommunications industry that public policy may be
impeding the continued development of the Internet into a high-speed
communications network. In the absence of ubiquitous, high-speed "broadband"
Internet connections for residential and small-business customers, the demand
for IT equipment and new Internet service applications may stagnate.
Broadband policy is controversial in large part because of the differences in the regulatory regimes faced by different types of carriers. Cable television companies face neither retail price regulation of their cable modem services nor any requirements to make their facilities available to competitors. Local telephone companies, on the other hand, face both retail price regulation for their DSL service and a requirement imposed by the 1996 Telecommunications Act that they "unbundle" their network facilities and lease them to rivals. Finally, new entrants are largely unregulated, but many rely on facilities leased from the incumbent telephone companies at regulated rates to connect to their customers. This asymmetric regulation is the focus of this volume, in which telecommunications scholars address the public policy issues that have arisen over the deployment of new high-speed telecommunications services.
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