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Towards Universal Broadband: Understanding the Impact of Policy Initiatives on Broadband Diffusion and Affordability
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Towards Universal Broadband: Understanding the Impact of Policy Initiatives on Broadband Diffusion and Affordability

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  • Financial investment -- additive index with seven (7) components from World Bank: 1) Telecommunications revenue (as a percentage of GDP); 2) Telecommunications investment (as a percentage of revenue); 3) Research & development spending (as a percentage of GDP); 4) ICT expenditures (as a percentage of GDP); 5) Computer, communications and other services (as a percentage of service exports); 6) High-technology exports (as a percentage of manufacturing exports); and 7) Natural log of international Internet bandwidth (bits per second per person).Political freedom -- additive index with two (2) components from Freedom House: 1) Press freedom index; and 2) Civil liberties index.

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  • 1. Towards Universal Broadband: Understanding the Impact of Policy Initiatives on Broadband Diffusion and Affordability
    David J. Yates, Girish J. “Jeff” Gulati & Joseph W. Weiss
    Bentley University
  • 2. Motivation
    Universal broadband Internet access is an important concern for policymakers.
    No previous large-N studies of the broadband digital divide have assessed the impact of public policy initiatives that should enable and expand access to high-speed Internet technologies.
    We explore the impact of national policy initiatives on broadband diffusion and broadband affordability.
  • 3. One View of Some Developed Countries
    Source:
    United Nations Human Development Reporthttp://hdr.undp.org/en/statistics/
    HDI values for seven countries are within 6% of each other.
    The development divide between these countries is small.
  • 4. The Broadband Digital Divide
    Source:
    ITU 2009 Measuring the Information Society Report
    Fixed Broadband Diffusion:Number of fixed-line broadband subscribers per 100 inhabitants
    A broadband divide exists: there is now a 39% spread.
    Can we learn from successes in Denmark, etc. ?
  • 5. What about Mobile Broadband ?
    Source:
    ITU 2009 Measuring the Information Society Report
    Fixed & Mobile Broadband:Fixed broadband is in blue
    Mobile broadband is in orange
    Mobility is another facet of the broadband digital divide.
    Can we learn from Japan & S. Korea ?
  • 6. The Broadband Technology Divide
    Source:
    OECD Broadband Portal
    http://www.oecd.org/sti/ict/broadband
    Fixed Broadband Technologies:DSL is in blue
    Cable is in orange
    Fiber & LAN are green
    And then there are other tech’s
    Technology is another facet of broadband digital divide.
    Japan & S. Korea have more advanced access technology.
  • 7. The Broadband Performance Divide
    Source:
    ITIF 2008 Broadband Rankings
    Average Download Bandwidth:Bandwidth units are megabits per second (Mbps)
    Based on OECD 2006-2007 data (see source for more details)
    Divide is partly due to Fiber & Carrier Ethernet access
    Again, can we learn from successes in Japan & S. Korea ?
  • 8. The Global Broadband Digital Divide 1
    Sources:
    United Nations & ITU 2009
    To perform a large-N study, we focus on fixed-line broadband.
  • 9. What about Differences in Cost ?
    Source:
    ITU 2009 Measuring the Information Society Report
    Fixed Broadband Cost:Fixed broadband subscription monthly cost divided by average annual per person gross national income (GNI)
    There is a 67% price gap after normalizing for pp GNI.
    Finally, some good news for Canada & USA.
  • 10. The Global Broadband Digital Divide 2
    Sources:
    United Nations & ITU 2009
    Note that the vertical axis here has a log scale.
  • 11. Research Questions
    Do national policy initiatives to promote information and communication technologies (ICTs) predict a nation’s broadband diffusion?
    Do public policy initiatives to advance information and communication technologies predict a nation’s broadband affordability?
  • 12. Research Hypothesis 1
    • National policy initiatives to promote information and communication technologies (ICTs) increase a nation’s broadband diffusion.
    • 13. Nations that (a) have an independent national telecommunications regulatory authority and (b) have competition to provide telecommunication services and (c) encourage financial investment in ICTs are the most likely to have increased broadband diffusion.
  • Research Hypothesis 2
    National policy initiatives to advance information and communication technologies (ICTs) have no impact on a nation’s broadband affordability.
    • Nations that (a) have an independent national telecommunications regulatory authority and (b) have competition to provide telecommunication services and (c) encourage financial investment in ICTs are no more or less likely to have more affordable broadband.
  • Dependent Variables and Models
    • Model 1:
    • 14. Broadband Diffusion [Subs/100]— ITU 2009
    • 15. Broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants
    • 16. Multiple regression analysis using three (3) national policy variables
    • 17. Model 2:
    • 18. Broadband Affordability [BSbV]— ITU 2009
    • 19. Monthly cost of 256 kbps broadband subscription divided by average annual per person gross national income (GNI)
    • 20. Multiple regression analysis using same three policy variables
  • Independent Variables for Both Models
    • Policy Variables (a) – (c)
    • 21. National regulatory authority (NRA) from ITU ICT Eye = { -1, 0 for non-independent, 1 for independent }
    • 22. Competition for providing telecommunication services factor score coefficient using (6) components from ITU
    • 23. Financial investment additive index with seven (7) components from World Bank
    • 24. Control Variables
    • 25. Affluence, Income inequality, Education
    • 26. Urbanization
    • 27. Democracy, Political freedom
  • Impact of a National Regulatory Authority
    Have an independent NRA
    Have a non-independent NRA
    Have no NRA
  • 28. National Regulatory Authority and Diffusion
    Have no NRA:
    Average diffusion = 5.82
    Have an NRA:
    Average diffusion = 8.84
    Fixed Broadband Diffusion
    Fixed Broadband Diffusion:Number of fixed-line broadband subscribers per 100 inhabitants
    Have an NRA
    Have no NRA
  • 29. Diffusion and Telecom Competition
  • 30. Diffusion and Financial Investment
  • 31. Policy Initiatives and Broadband Diffusion
    Partially supports Research Hypothesis 1
    Competition and financial investment have a positive impact on broadband diffusion
    Diffusion dependent variable is log-transformed: ln(Subs/100).
    Unstandardizedcoefficients. Significance: *** = 0.01, ** = 0.05.
  • 32. Affordability and Telecom Competition
  • 33. Policy Initiatives and Broadband Affordability
    Partially refutes Research Hypothesis 2
    Competition in telecommunications sector improves broadband affordability
    Affordability dependent variable is log-transformed: ln(BSbV).
    Unstandardizedcoefficients. Significance: * = 0.1.
  • 34. Impact of Policy Initiatives for both Models
    Both dependent variables are log-transformed: ln(Subs/100), ln(BSbV).
    Unstandardizedcoefficients. Significance: *** = 0.01, ** = 0.05, * = 0.1.
  • 35. Implications and Conclusions
    Nations that (b) have competition to provide telecommunication services and (c) encourage financial investment in ICTs are the most likely to have increased broadband diffusion.
    Nations that (b) have competition to provide telecommunication services are the most likely to have more affordable broadband access.
    Having an independent national regulatory authority does not appear to impact diffusion or affordability of broadband for a nation’s citizens.
  • 36. Future Work
    Ethical perspective on broadband digital divide
    Expand and refine policy variables
    For example, understand and analyze impact of national regulatory authority policies and regulations
    Consider additional outcome variables
    Alternative digital divide metrics
    Diffusion of e-government
    Adoption of e-participation