Research Institute for Regulatory Economics

Economic Benefits of High-Speed Broadband Network Coverage and Consumer Adoption: Evidence from OECD Countries

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In view of the economic role of ICT and high-speed broadband internet, ambitious broadband plans have been implemented in most developed countries as well as at the supra-national (EU) level. In order to reach specified broadband targets and due to high expectations regarding future benefits of fiber-based broadband infrastructure, many local and national governments have already provided billions of Euros of public funding. However, there is still hardly any evidence available as regards the causal impact of fiber-based broadband coverage and adoption on gross domestic product (GDP). Moreover, there is no study available so far that simultaneously considers the impact of fiber-based broadband coverage and adoption on economic performance using detailed data on high-speed broadband connections. Both effects are, however, of crucial relevance in view of the dual broadband targets at national and supra-national level and related supply- and demand-side public policies.

In order to address these issues, we investigate the following research questions: i) what is the causal effect of high-speed broadband coverage on economic outcome (GDP)? ii) what is the causal effect of adoption of high-speed broadband services on economic outcome (GDP)? and finally, iii) do total estimated benefits on the supply and demand side outweigh total infrastructure deployment costs?

The research project is based on external cooperation with Prof. Carlo Cambini from the Polytechnic University of Turin and carried out at the research institute from January 2022 to December 2022.

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