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Regulation and the Performance of Communication and Information Networks

Regulation and the Performance of Communication and Information Networks

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'Due to their economic characteristics and also to their consequences on many aspects of collective life, information networks have always been at the edge of regulatory innovations and at the center of policy debates. The contributors of this volume combine long term visions of the factors determining regulatory policies with up-to-date analyses of technicalities to be dealt with, to provide the reader with an extended understanding of the issues and constraints shaping the future of digital networks.- Eric Brousseau, Universite Paris-Dauphine, France and the European University Institute, Italy Digital markets worldwide are in rapid flux. The Internet and World Wide Web have traditionally evolved in a largely deregulated environment, but recently governments have shown great interest in this rapidly developing sector and are imposing regulations for a variety of reasons that are changing the shape of these industries. This book explores why the industrial organization of broadband ISPs, Internet backbone providers and content/application providers are in such turmoil. The expert contributors straddle the turbulent past of the telecoms sector and also contribute to its exciting - though unpredictable - future via positive analysis of past communications policies, which is then utilized to deduce lessons to guide future policy making decisions. It is illustrated that broadband ISPs no longer simply provide a conduit for service delivery; they are also involved in producing content and transaction services themselves, in competition with content and delivery providers. The blurring of the traditional lines between these three sectors, as each enters into the others' markets, is highlighted. The conclusion is that we are witnessing the emergence of powerful, competing platforms, linked in complex ways that challenge traditional economic analyses. Exploring governance issues, regulation and investment, next-generation service markets and wireless communication, this book will prove a fascinating and illuminating read for scholars, researchers, post-graduate students and policy makers with an interest in ICT, technology and innovation, economics and industrial organization.