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Press Releases

Broadband Competition in the 21st Century: A Transatlantic Perspective

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A Joint Seminar of The Centre for European Policy Studies and the Technology Policy Institute

Tuesday 26 May 2009 13.30 – 16.30
CEPS, Place du Congrès 1, Bruxelles, B-1000

The debate over broadband policy transcends national boundaries and has become even more important in the current economic environment as the financial crisis leads the U.S. to include broadband in its economic stimulus efforts and the EU to consider something similar. Since the mid-1990s information and communications technologies have contributed substantially to economic growth, productivity improvements, and, thus, higher living standards on both sides of the Atlantic.

As a result, broadband policy cannot be viewed as just a “regulatory” or a “telecom” issue, but also as one that interacts significantly with the broader macro-economy. In particular, the broader economy affects broadband investment and adoption and vice-versa. The current financial crisis and the industry interact in two important ways.

First, broadband infrastructure is very capital intensive, meaning that changes in credit markets can have big effects on investment. In the current crisis, tight credit markets and the high cost of capital mean that investors may require a higher expected rate of return on their investments than they did in the recent past. Second, broadband has given consumers new ways to react to the economic downturn and to help restore growth that were not possible in any previous recessions, ranging from searching for jobs online to new avenues for entrepreneurship.

13.30

Registration and lunch

14.00

Introductory Remarks

Tom Lenard, President, Technology Policy Institute

Andrea Renda, Senior Research Fellow, CEPS

14.15

Session 1 – How do broadband and IT in general interact with the broader economy? How do they stimulate the economy and contribute to improvements in living standards?

Michael BARTHOLOMEW, European Telecommunications Network Operators’ Association

Martin FORNEFELD and Gilles DELAUNAY, MICUS Management Consulting

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Raul KATZ, Columbia University

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Norbert GAAL, DG Competition, European Commission

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Moderator: Tom LENARD, Technology Policy Institute

15.30

Coffee break

15.45

Session 2 How do key regulatory policies affect broadband deployment and adoption? What is the role of the public sector?

Marc BOURREAU, Paristech

Tom KIEDROWSKI, Ofcom

Scott WALLSTEN, Technology Policy Institute

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Moderator: Andrea RENDA, CEPS

 

The Technology Policy Institute

The Technology Policy Institute is a research and educational organization that focuses on the economics of innovation, technological change, and related regulation in the United States and around the world. More information is available at http://www.techpolicyinstitute.org/