Abstract - The Information Society 29(4)

Identifying Best Practices in Financing Next Generation Networks

Rob Frieden

Governments throughout the world have determined that next generation network (“NGN”) development serves the national interest. The strategies used to achieve progress vary greatly as does the extent to which governments perceive the need to get actively involved through direct ownership and subsidization of carriers. No government has unlimited funds to invest in new networks, or to subsidize private ventures promising to improve access to essential services at affordable rates. Accordingly, nations must determine whether and how to use limited taxpayer funds to expedite the access to inexpensive and ubiquitous wired and wireless broadband networks. Baseline factors such as geography, income, demographics and market penetration of existing networks have a significant impact on what works best. However, nations with similar physical and economic characteristics have pursued significantly different strategies. This paper will identify best practices in NGN development using both case studies and a review of the current literature assessing government strategies. While it cannot confirm a theoretical basis for achieving success in NGN development, the paper will provide a toolkit of confirmed best practices.

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