OECD points to weaknesses in broadband development and identifies emerging policy issues
The OECD is also releasing a new Broadband report (Main findings / Full report) which examines the evolution of broadband since 2004 and the national broadband plans of all OECD member countries. The report highlights the significant progress that has been made in the development of broadband across the OECD countries, notably and the progress that has been made in extending broadband to rural and remote areas as well as in connecting schools, libraries and other public institutions. The report also examines areas of weakness and examples of innovative policies from countries.
Looking ahead, the report notes that:
• Governments need to promote competition and give consumers more choices. They should encourage new networks, particularly upgrades to fibre-optic lines.
• Governments providing money to fund broadband rollouts should avoid creating new monopolies. Any new infrastructure built using government funds should be open access – meaning that access to that network is provided on non-discriminatory terms to other market participants.
• Governments should discourage harmful business conduct and practices such as misleading advertising and unjustifiably long consumer lock-in periods.
• OECD firms and governments need to do more to realise the full potential of broadband and move beyond pilot projects for pressing social issues in areas such as health, transport and the environment.
• The strengthening of broadband research networks (grids), their use for collaborative research and related international cooperation should be a policy priority.
• Governments need to actively monitor and quantify their own progress with their broadband plans and adjust policies and attention accordingly.
Ministers will address these policy issues at the forthcoming OECD Ministerial Meeting on the Future of the Internet Economy (17-18 June 2008 in Seoul, Korea).
For further information, journalists should contact Taylor Reynolds (+33 1 45 24 9384) and/or Sacha Wunsch-Vincent (+33 614943838) of the OECD’s Information and Communications Policy division.
Other related research:
Developments in Fibre Technologies and Investment
Public rights of way for fibre deployment to the home
Global opportunities for Internet access developments