Bronwyn Howell is a Visiting Fellow with AEI’s Center for Internet, Communications, and Technology Policy. Howell is a faculty member at the School of Management, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. She is a board member and secretary to the board of the International Telecommunications Society. 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.
non-binding guidelines for implementing net neutrality in the EU also support this approach. While case-by-case assessment may be a workable solution for zero rating, it is not unproblematic. Allocating scarce regulatory resources and selecting the forum in which the analysis takes place is not straightforward. Given the dearth of academic literature on the topic, here are four questions to help regulators assess the economic merits of specific zero rated offers and to prioritize whether a given zero-rated offer warrants scrutiny.
a speech in Cincinnati earlier this week, Federal Communications Commission Commissioner Ajit Pai shared his thoughts on how to close the digital broadband divide between the haves and the have-nots. At the top of his list of proposed initiatives was the creation of “Gigabit Opportunity Zones,” where subsidies would be offered to internet service providers to deploy gigabit broadband services in low-income neighborhoods. While closing the digital divide is a goal we all share, the commissioner’s focus is seemingly not on the provision of networks of sufficient speed to serve existing needs, but the provision of the fastest networks currently possible. That the subsidized networks need to be gigabyte speed, and not just 100 Mbps or some other arbitrarily-selected capacity, is more a question of equity than of reasoned regional economic development: Because some Americans already have access to gigabyte connections, all Americans must. Before America invests millions of dollars in Gigabit Opportunity Zones, we should take a minute to hear from the people who have already given this project a shot.
the proposed merger between the country’s dominant pay television operator, Sky Television, and its number-two fixed-line broadband provider, Vodafone, filed their submissions. The most prominent concern is that the merger would exacerbate Sky’s dominant position in sports content to a point where others are completely unable to compete. As the table below shows, Sky already has monopoly rights over the distribution of premium — and predominantly live — sports content in New Zealand, and critics are arguing that the merger will solidify this advantage even further. The coming response from the competition authority will be an important bellwether for content and internet service provider (ISP) mergers in countries with similar competition laws to New Zealand — including the United States.
Fairfax New Zealand, the local operator of one of two Australasian newspaper giants struggling to find a viable business model in the internet age, had launched a new business venture. Fairfax is now the proud owner of 51 percent of a brand new ISP, Stuff Fibre. Is this a cunning plan or a train wreck waiting to happen?