2012 Trends in Telecommunication Reform 2012

Smart Regulation for a Broadband World

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The annual Trends in Telecommunication Reform publications are a key part of the dialogue with the world's information and communications technology (ICT) policy-makers and regulators to ensure that all citizens can benefit from new applications, services and businesses opportunities brought by a broadband world.



Broadband-Enabled innovation

This chapter examines the relationship between broadband networks and innovation. Innovations are inventions that have some sort of (economic) impact, e.g., raising productivity and competitiveness. This chapter considers a particular category of innovations, namely broadband-enabled innovation. An innovation is broadband-enabled if it, at some fundamental level, requires, uses, and perhaps enhances broadband Internet. So, for example, cloud computing is a class of broadband-enabled innovation since many aspects of cloud computing are inventions that are having a market impact and without high-capacity Internet connectivity, most cloud computing services will falter. Similarly, social media and online video streaming are a class of broadband-enabled innovations for the same reasons. And so forth. A special class of these innovations is that which includes inventions of the broadband network technologies itself, for instance impactful engineering enhancements in high-speed data networking. New high-speed wireless network technologies, for instance, would fall into this category. These are direct broadband innovations on top of being broadband-enabled innovations.


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