Edited by Anastassios Gentzoglanis and Anders Henten
Chapter 3: Access Regulation versus Infrastructure Investment: Important Lessons from Australia
1 Martyn Taylor INTRODUCTION 3.1 A key focus of increasing concern in telecommunications regulatory policy is the impact of access regulation on the long-term incentives for new infrastructure investment. This chapter analyses the theory and practice behind the regulation versus investment debate and makes a series of key policy recommendations. Importantly, many jurisdictions have not yet struck an appropriate balance, particularly in circumstances where substantial investment in next generation networks is now required. 3.2 DETERMINANTS OF TELECOMS INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENT The Internet is one of the most significant innovations of the twentieth century and is profoundly shaping modern society in the twenty-first century. Governments around the world are increasingly recognizing the value of Internet access, including via positive externalities that spill over into economic growth. A common policy vision among advanced industrialized nations is ubiquitous broadband Internet access. A key constraint to the supply of high-speed broadband access into the home in most countries is legacy wireline ‘last mile’ customer access network infrastructure. With the exception of new housing developments, such infrastructure in most nations typically comprises either a twisted copper pair, often many decades old and prone to quality issues; or, less commonly, a separate coaxial cable, normally as part of a hybrid fiber coaxial network initially deployed to provide cable television services. Broadband Internet access is normally provided over such infrastructure via xDSL (digital subscriber line) and DOCSIS (Data Over Cable 63 64 Regulation and the evolution of the global telecoms industry Service Interface Specification) technologies, respectively. However, both...
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