The Regulatory Policy Institute Research Group

Reflections on policy issues raised by next-generation access networks in communications

The introduction of next-generation access networks (NGANs) in communications changes the market and technological context in which public policy operates. It does so in a way that, in terminology used in the economic analysis of innovation, can be said to be ‘drastic’ in nature. This poses a number of new challenges for the development of regulatory policy, some of which are identified and explored in this paper.

When new problems arise, one of the first analytical tasks for regulators is to discover perspectives that might be of assistance in thinking through the issues that emerge. These alternative ‘frames’, which will also be explored below, are not solutions to the policy problems, but rather are ways of approaching the issues to assist the development of policy positions.

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