Broadband Uptake in OECD Countries: Policy Lessons from Comparative Statistical Analysis
Broadband diffusion varies widely among the OECD countries. In the practical policy discourse, it has been taken for granted that measures such as the stimulation of competition or unbundling can accelerate the uptake of broadband service. This paper attempts to investigate the influence of important economic and policy variables on the diffusion patterns of broadband. The limited availability of data forces us to use a cross-national sample. We find that the preparedness of a nation and the cost conditions of deploying advanced networks are the most consistent factors explaining broadband uptake. The price of broadband, the price of dial-up Internet access service, competition, and the relative income position are either less or not significant at all. The results are not very robust, which seems to indicate that the causation patterns are more complex than captured by our multiple regression models. This suggests that there is not one but possible several configurations of economic and policy variables that can support rapid broadband diffusion.