Unbundling and infrastructure competition for broadband adoption: Implications for NGA regulation
Journal article, 2014
The common idea of open access policy is that it refers to the sharing of particular elements, such as wholesale access networks, backhaul, under-sea cable and internet exchange points in fixed and mobile networks. In broadband networks, the use of open access policy usually refers to the infrastructure parts, which are considered a bottleneck. Many regulators have generally focused open access policy on fixed broadband networks, especially digital subscriber line (DSL) technology, in the last decade. Local loop unbundling (LW) regulation is one of the main strategies for the regulator to open access to an incumbent's bottleneck network in order to soften its monopoly power and encourage competition in the DSL broadband market. The OECD countries have different strategies regarding unbundling local loop and infrastructure competition, as the characteristics and infrastructure networks of countries vary. There are currently more choices of next generation network (NGN) technologies to develop. While local loop unbundling may not be applied fully to NGN development (the cost is not sunk, more technologies are available to implement, incentive of investment by operator), it can indicate benefits and drawbacks of open access policy in the past decade that can be adapted to NGN. The empirical results of this study show that during 2002-2008, LLU regulation was one of the strategies used to increase broadband adoption in countries that had difficulty encouraging infrastructure competition. Unbundling regulation can therefore be implemented carefully and differently in each country that has inefficiency that is harmful to consumers in its market from a monopoly incumbent. Infrastructure competition, on the other hand, is introduced as another strategy to increase broadband adoption. The empirical results of this study indicate that infrastructure competition can be used as a strategy when there are already enough infrastructures in the area or country. These results support the idea of using open access and infrastructure competition policy depending on the existing competition of broadband infrastructure in each country.
Local loop unbundling