The Smart Revolution Towards the Sustainable Digital Society
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The Smart Revolution Towards the Sustainable Digital Society

Beyond the Era of Convergence

Edited by Hitoshi Mitomo, Hidenori Fuke and Erik Bohlin

The objective of this book is to present a comprehensive evaluation of the smart revolution, including its social and economic impacts. It proposes a modern framework to help assess how recent Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) can contribute to societies as a whole. The authors offer a guide to how advanced network technologies have led to a greater variety of applications and social networking services. These allow people to connect with each other both at a more personal and global level, and will ultimately herald a new era of ICTs that will shape the “digital society".
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Chapter 6: Telecommunication service countermeasures against disasters: Japanese people’s willingness to pay for telecommunication services

Akihiro Nakamura


On March 11, 2011, the Great East Japan Earthquake hit Japan’s Tohoku area, resulting in severe damage to public services. The subsequent blackout around base and telephone stations rendered telecommunication services nonfunctional for a certain period. In light of this, government departments have undertaken several studies on this issue, which include investigating possible countermeasures against future earthquakes. However even for disaster mitigation, it is important to strike a balance between cost and benefits. Given this situation, this analysis investigates Japanese peoples’ preferences for taking countermeasures against disasters in the field of telecommunication by using data from an online survey. A review of the literature on the telecommunication field reveals that there are no empirical studies on estimating the willingness to pay (WTP) for countermeasures in the telecommunication field. The cost for and quantity of countermeasures supplied could be forecasted/estimated based on various available technical information; that is, by combining information on the WTP for countermeasures, the question of the extent to which the countermeasures that should be carried out are made available could become clearer. The analysis revealed the following results. First, WTP for measures that prevent the suspension of telecommunication services in the event of a disaster is not insignificant. Second, a higher priority should be placed on mobile (voice) services when formulating appropriate backup plans for communication services during times of disasters. Third, estimation results of victims’ WTP reveal that a backup provision within a 24-hour period would be beneficial even when suspension prevention is difficult. Finally, there was a national consensus on the importance of taking the necessary countermeasures so as to ensure that services are functional even in the event of a disaster.

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