Joshua Gans has released a new discussion paper. Unless someone printed out this blog for you, you’ll probably be interested in what he has to say.
I have come to the conclusion that, given the constraints we face today, that the debate is all wrong. Put simply, the whole idea that we need a national solution to broadband is misplaced. The constraints are all in the last mile and hence, from a supply perspective, we need lots of local solutions. Moreover, the uses for broadband are primarily social rather than content driven. Once again, since social interractions tend to be local, so demand for broadband will likely vary from location to location.
There are many implications of this. First, no universal service obligation is required for broadband. Second, we can just ignore Telstra. If the investment does not need to be national in scale then we donâ€™t need Telstraâ€™s national presence. Smaller companies can do the job.
The paper, entitled “The Local Broadband Imperative: Appropriate high-speed Internet access for Australia”Â is here.