Bronwyn Howell

Bronwyn Howell

Bronwyn Howell is general manager for the New Zealand Institute for the Study of Competition and Regulation and a faculty member of Victoria Business School, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. She is a board member and secretary to the board of the International Telecommunications Society. She was formerly visiting research scientist at the Helsinki University of Technology. Building on both her formal education in economics and public policy, and her experience as a practitioner in the information technology sector in New Zealand and internationally, Bronwyn researches, teaches and writes on a broad range of matters concerning the Information Economy. Her publication portfolio includes journal articles, book chapters, monographs, working papers and presentations on technological diffusion, intellectual property rights and the contracting for and pricing of information goods. In recent years she has focused on competition and regulatory policy, and the evolution of industry interaction in the telecommunications and information communications technology markets. An area of particular interest has been the comparative effects of different forms of competition and regulation on market performance, especially in small, remote economies such as New Zealand.
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Do more computers and software really make students better learners?

In 1987, Nobel Economics Laureate Robert Solow famously quipped, “you can see the computer age everywhere but in the productivity statistics.” Nearly three decades later, the OECD has made a similar observation – this time, about the computer age as it relates to education around the globe. It has found little evidence that large investments in computers and software have made students smarter or more productive. In fact, in some instances, they may have dumbed students down.
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Title II is hurting investment. How will – and should – the FCC respond?

How should a regulator respond when their regulations turn out to have unexpected negative side effects or, worse still, when their effects are totally the opposite of what was intended? One would hope that they – levelheaded adults as they are – would acknowledge the imperfections of their rules and reassess their original decisions. However, experience suggests that regulators are less than eager to display such rational behavior. Given the recent evidence regarding the impact of Title II on broadband investment, this character flaw on behalf of regulators might very well end up costing Americans dearly.
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Another cost of government-funded broadband: Labor market distortion

Australia’s government-funded National Broadband Network (NBN) has provided rich pickings for analysts looking for evidence that government-funded grandiose new fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) networks almost always turn out to be much more expensive than taxpayers are led to believe at the proposal stage.
Unbundling by

Unbundling broadband to promote competition: A “fix that fails”

Recently, Canada adopted regulations forcing fiber network operators to allow their competitors to resell services provided by the operators over their own infrastructures – a practice known as “unbundling.” The regulations are intended to increase competition in retail ISP markets, bringing benefits to consumers as prices fall and different services are bundled in with the connection. A simple thought experiment shows why this is rarely the actual outcome.