Public policy targets in EU broadband markets: The role of technological neutrality

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Authors

External departments

  • Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration
  • University of Passau
  • Weizenbaum Institute for the Networked Society
  • Technical University of Berlin
  • Institut Mines-Télécom Business School

Details

Original languageEnglish
Article number101908
JournalTelecommunications Policy
Volume44
Issue number5
Early online date13 Feb 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2020
Publication type

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The European Commission has recently sought to substantially revise how it regulates the telecommunication industry, with a key goal being to incentivise investment in high-speed broadband networks. Ambitious goals to incentivise investment in high-speed broadband networks have been set across the European Union, initially in the ‘Digital Agenda for Europe’ and more recently in its ‘Gigabit strategy’. These goals reflect the view of many that there are widespread and significant socio-economic benefits associated with broadband. Our analysis explores the consequence of target setting at a European level, in terms of encouraging investment and picking which technology should be adopted within the context of technological neutrality. We demonstrate that while public policy targets might implicitly favour specific technologies, especially when gigabit targets are defined, the technological choices that occur within individual Member States are shaped by the complex and dynamic interaction between a series of path dependencies that may vary significantly across as well as within Member States. Adopting an ecosystem perspective, we propose a conceptual framework that identifies the key factors associated with technological neutrality and informs a rational decision-making process.