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Next Generation Connectivity

Berkman Center releases final broadband study for the FCC

February 16, 2010

The Berkman Center is pleased to announce that its independent review for the FCC, Next Generation Connectivity: A review of broadband Internet transitions and policy from around the world, has been finalized. The Final Report was submitted to the FCC today, February 16. For access to the report and a selection of primary data sets, visit:

http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/pubrelease/broadband

From Principal Investigator Yochai Benkler's Preface to the Final Report:

Our most prominent initial findings, confirmed and extended in this final draft, were that U.S. broadband performance in the past decade has declined relative to other countries and is no better than middling. Our study expanded the well known observation with regard to penetration per 100 inhabitants, and examined and found the same to be true of penetration per household; subscriptions for mobile broadband; availability of nomadic access; as well as advertised speeds and actually measured speeds; and pricing at most tiers of service. Our study further identified the great extent to which open access policies played a role in establishing competitive broadband markets during the first-generation broadband transition in Europe and Japan, and the large degree to which contemporary transpositions of that experience were being integrated into current plans to preserve and assure competitive markets during the next generation transition. [...]

The primary changes between the original draft report and the final are: the inclusion of a new, extensive, formal literature review of the quantitative and qualitative literature on open access, in particular unbundling, and broadband performance and investment; expansion of the price and actual speed measurement benchmarking, as well as a slight refinement of assessing 3G growth; a new, compact review of the critiques of penetration per 100 measurements and responses to them that replaces the original focus on the density critique alone; new extensive case studies of the voluntary models of open access in the Netherlands and Switzerland; and a variety of discrete responses to useful comments we received on specific country studies.

The full Preface, Final Report, and a selection of primary data sets are available at: http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/pubrelease/broadband.

Congratulations and thanks are once again due to the team who undertook this important research, and to everyone who contributed to the report.

Last updated March 30, 2011

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