This paper provides evidence on the migration from an “old” technology to a “new” technology, taking into account the impact that regulatory interventions on the old one might have on the incentives to invest and adopt the new one. This analysis has been applied to a sample of EU27 countries using panel data from 2004 to 2014 on the adoption, coverage and take-up rate of ultra-fast broadband infrastructures, whose development is one of the flagship initiatives of the Europe 2020 programmes. Results show that a 1% increase in the regulated price to access the old technology increases the adoption and the investment on the new broadband technology by ~0.45% and ~0.47%. These effects are not homogeneous across countries and are weakened in Eastern European countries, where the existing old broadband infrastructures are less developed than in the rest of Europe. It has also been shown that the access price to old networks negatively affects the take-up rate of the new technology-based services, thus calling for the need of more specific and complementary demand side policy incentives to enhance service adoption.
Briglauer, Wolfgang, Carlo Cambini and Sauro Melani (2016), How to Fill the Digital Gap? The (Limited) Role of Regulation, ZEW Discussion Paper No. 16-002, Mannheim. Download