In this paper, we study how the coexistence of access regulations for legacy (copper) and fiber networks shapes the incentives to invest in fiber-based network infrastructures. To this end, we first develop a theoretical model that extends the existing literature by, among other things, considering alternative firms with proprietary legacy network (e.g., cable operators) and the presence of asymmetric mandated access to networks. In the empirical part, we test the theoretical predictions using a novel panel data from 27 EU member states pertaining to the last decade. Our main finding is that, in line with the theoretical results, stricter access regulations (i.e., a decrease in access price to legacy network and the adoption of fiber regulation) decrease the incumbent operators' fiber investments. The estimated magnitude of these effects is economically significant. On the other hand, cable operators, who are responsible for the largest share of investments in fiber, are not affected by access regulation. Our paper thus provides policy insights for the on-going revision of the EU regulation framework for the electronic communications industry.
|Titolo:||Speeding Up the Internet: Regulation and Investment in the European Fiber Optic Infrastructure|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2018|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|
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