Public Policy Targets in EU Broadband Markets: The Role of Technological Neutrality

Wolfgang Briglauer, Volker Stocker, Jason Whalley

Publication: Working/Discussion PaperWU Working Paper

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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.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Publication series

SeriesWorking Papers / Research Institute for Regulatory Economics

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

  • 502013 Industrial economics
  • 502046 Economic policy

WU Working Paper Series

  • Working Papers / Research Institute for Regulatory Economics

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