Fixed broadband – seven golden rules to accelerate take-up

Analysis of fixed broadband markets shows that a set of seven ‘golden rules’ can boost technology adoption. The rules include a unified licensing regime, a full competition framework and enforced quality of service monitoring (see figure below for the full list of measures.

Our analysis plots fixed-broadband penetration of countries having adopted the seven ‘golden rules’ for the period from 2007 to 2018 (see figure below) against the world average penetration.

The analysis shows that:

  • Forty-four countries running with the seven ‘golden rules’ score an average eight per cent higher for fixed-broadband service adoption, than world average for the period 2007-2018. Although causation is complex to establish statistically, the figures clearly imply that regulation facilitates market growth.
  • The seven ‘golden rules’ include three measures that relate specifically to fixed broadband (for example full competition in the two main fixed-broadband segments) and four measures that relate to broader framework regulation (for example full competition at the international gateway and infrastructure sharing). This composition reflects the need for regulatory measures that vary in scope and profile when formulating a winning market formula.
  • Our analysis suggests that fixed-broadband markets running the seven golden rules have reached saturation or the mature phase of the industry lifecycle. Over the past seven years, these countries achieved only a modest rise in penetration levels. Two implications arise from this. Firstly, policy and regulatory goals should be revised to encourage more service-based competition and subsequent crowding-in. Secondly, new regulatory measures may be needed to put fixed-broadband markets back onto a growth path.
  • Our quantitative evidence suggests that best-practice regulation has real impact – and both the design and effective enforcement of regulatory frameworks are essential for broadband markets to thrive.

Keep reading: Global ICT Regulatory Outlook 2020