Broadband in Europe
Broadband is a key enabler of the information society, increasing productivity and competitiveness across all sectors of the economy. Unlike traditional n- rowband connections, broadband provides high speed, always-on connections to the Internet and supports innovative content and services. Direct consumer welfare gains from mass-market adoption of broadband across the EU could easily reach 50 billion euros or more per annum. This is quite apart from the more profound societal shifts that ubiquitous broadband could bring. It may allow the individual to distribute content and ideas independent of traditional media and bring together communities of interest without regard to borders. Public policy for broadband will have a big impact on whether and how quickly these bene?ts are realised. Getting policy right could bring large bene?ts for consumers, ?rms and the economy at large; getting policy wrong risks s- ?ing both the rollout of broadband and new innovative services, and thus the realisation of the EU’s e-Europe vision. In this book, we focus on the residential market for broadband access in EU countries, analysing the current and prospective level of competition and dr- ing implications for public policy. A key aim is to understand better the relative importance of facilities-based and access-based provision in fostering com- tition and promoting take-up of broadband services.
This is the first book to offer a thorough examination of broadband regulation in Europe.