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Public and private intervention for next-generation access deployment : possibilities for three European countries

Ragoobar, Tricia and Whalley, Jason and Harle, David (2011) Public and private intervention for next-generation access deployment : possibilities for three European countries. Telecommunications Policy, 35 (9-10). pp. 827-841. ISSN 0308-5961

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Abstract

How next-generation access (NGA) deployment can be encouraged is a challenge that many countries are facing, and one that has been widely and actively discussed around the globe. This discussion has highlighted a dilemma that ultimately shapes investment—how to encourage the widespread deployment of NGA while enabling operators to achieve reasonable returns. This paper focuses on the tensions that arise as a consequence of this investment challenge in three countries – the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom (UK) – and uses the analysis of extensive data collection with k7ey actors to argue the case for the injection of public or private incentives. The paper finds that markets with competitive infrastructure will not benefit from public investment while markets with geographical constraints are in need of public support. The paper also explains that regulatory intervention is necessary in the early stage of NGA roll-out, even in currently competitive markets. In all the discussions it becomes evident that, among the three cases, the UK is most in need of public intervention.