|Chapter title||New Networks, Old Markets Structures? The Race to Next Generation Networks in the EU and Calls for a new Regulatory Paradigm|
|van den Bulck, H.|
The chapter examines the EU policy debate on super fast next-generation broadband networks. It begins by assessing the rising importance of Information and Communication Technology in pursuit of economic growth and identifies two implicit theoretical underpinnings based on neo-classical and Hayekian ideas and Schumpeterian thinking respectively, with differing assumptions about the relationship between market and state intervention. Next, the chapter charts the move from Hayekian to Schumpeterian thought, which has disturbed, though not eliminated, conflicts in policy aims. It argues that since the 2000s there has been evidence of a new policy paradigm which has gradually become stronger and recognisably dominant in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. This new paradigm prioritises innovation in a Schumpeterian sense, emphasises related monopoly rents and is therefore not immediately consistent with open competitive markets. As such, it is at odds with the earlier policy paradigm that guided progressive liberalisation of telecommunications markets since the mid 1980s and was largely inspired by neo-classical and Hayekian thought, positing a pro-market response to address the failings of state monopolies. The chapter provides evidence that various institutional, political and economic actors have capitalised on the political saliency of super fast broadband networks and the rise of a Schumpeterian understanding of innovation in an attempt to promote their own narrow interests overlooking, in the process, broader consumer and social welfare.
|Keywords||broadband, communication policy, EU, Hayek, innovation, Schumpeter|
|Book title||European Media Policy for the 21st Century|
|Published||29 Jan 2016|
|Place of publication||New York and London|