Research Institute for Regulatory Economics

Broadband State Aid

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The deployment of new fiber-based high-speed broadband has become a hot policy issue. In the past decade public authorities in individual EU and non-EU OECD member states have become more and more inclined to subsidize high-speed fiber-based broadband infrastructures with subsidy programs adding up to two-digit billions of Euros in major economies. Empirical evidence on the effectiveness and efficiency of such subsidy programs is, however, still missing. These points can be addressed only by means of an empirical ex post evaluation that informs about the true causal effects of subsidy programs.

In this research project we aim to investigate two specific research questions: We ask if past subsidy programs for high-speed broadband deployment implemented by national governments in OECD member states had a significant impact on high-speed broadband deployment on the supply side and whether there are differential effects as regards different basic and high-speed broadband technologies? Identification of causal effects is based on panel data estimation techniques using comprehensive OECD country-level data for 34 OECD member states for the period from 2003-2019.

The research project “Evaluating the Impact of State Aid for High-Speed Broadband: First Evidence from OECD Countries” was carried out at the research institute from January 2021 to December 2021.

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Funded by the WU Anniversary Fund of the City of Vienna.