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Article

Chinyelu Onwurah

This paper seeks to set out a framework for assessing whether and how to intervene in the standardisation of new technologies, based on the experience of Ofcom, the UK

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to set out a framework for assessing whether and how to intervene in the standardisation of new technologies, based on the experience of Ofcom, the UK converged communications regulator.

Design/methodology/approach

As part of its duties to promote the interests of consumers and citizens, Ofcom needed to decide whether or not to intervene in the standardisation of wholesale access to superfast broadband, in the context of the roll out of the next generation of telecommunications access networks.

Findings

Ofcom found that the case for intervention was finely balanced between, on the one hand, the risk to innovation and, on the other, the consumer welfare generated by the right combination of standardisation and network effects. Ofcom identified four basic models of intervention: take no formal action; require that infrastructure providers use open standards, without specifying which standards should be used; mandate a particular standard to be used; and specify the standard to be used. Ofcom developed a policy framework that assesses interventions in terms of prospects for innovation and network effects. This led it to choose an approach that initially involves no formal action. Instead, Ofcom facilitates industry leadership of standardisation whilst monitoring the emerging competitive environment and signalling both its desired outcomes and its determination to take action if competition does not develop.

Practical implications

It is too early to say whether this approach will ultimately prove successful, however the framework allows for progressive strengthening of intervention if competition is not forthcoming.

Originality/value

The paper delivers value in conceptualising and clarifying the overall approach to standardisation.

Details

info, vol. 11 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6697

Keywords

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Article

José‐Luis Gómez‐Barroso and Claudio Feijóo

The purpose of this paper is to present an overview of the policy tools to complement public involvement and public‐private collaboration in the deployment of next

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present an overview of the policy tools to complement public involvement and public‐private collaboration in the deployment of next generation electronic communications infrastructures.

Design/methodology/approach

The special issue, of which this paper is a part, examines a number of policy tools that support public involvement and enhance public‐private partnering in next generation infrastructures, tools that are generally overlooked. The papers explore the main domains where these complementary actions might take place. They encompass policies directed to the demand and supply sides of the market, information society and industrial innovation policies, additional measures that can be taken by local and regional public administrations and new policy tools to foster user empowerment.

Findings

From the authors' perspective, public involvement and public‐private partnering for the deployment of next generation infrastructures in telecommunications will require an integrated policy approach. The appropriate policy mix includes instruments of innovation, information society development and new user empowerment.

Originality/value

This paper introduces a timely contribution to the debate on public support of next generation infrastructures in electronic communications.

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Article

John Davies, Alistair Duke, Nick Kings, Dunja Mladenić, Kalina Bontcheva, Miha Grčar, Richard Benjamins, Jesus Contreras, Mercedes Blazquez Civico and Tim Glover

The paper shows how access to knowledge can be enhanced by using a set of innovative approaches and technologies based on the semantic web.

Abstract

Purpose

The paper shows how access to knowledge can be enhanced by using a set of innovative approaches and technologies based on the semantic web.

Design/methodology/approach

Emerging trends in knowledge access are considered followed by a description of how ontologies and semantics can contribute. A set of tools is then presented which is based on semantic web technology. For each of these tools a detailed description of the approach is given together with an analysis of related and future work as appropriate.

Findings

The tools presented are at the prototype stage but can already show how knowledge access can be improved by allowing users to more precisely express what they are looking for and by presenting to them in a form that is appropriate to their current context.

Research limitations/implications

The tools show promising results in improving access to knowledge which will be further evaluated within a practical setting. The tools will be integrated and trialled as part of case studies within the SEKT project. This will allow their usability and practical applicability to be measured.

Practical implications

Ontologies as a form of knowledge representation are increasing in importance. Knowledge management, and in particular knowledge access, will benefit from their widespread acceptance. The use of open standards and compatible tools in this area will be important to support interoperability and widespread access to disparate knowledge repositories.

Originality/value

The paper presents research in an emerging but increasingly important field, i.e. semantic web‐based knowledge technology. It describes how this technology can satisfy the demand for improved knowledge access, including providing knowledge delivery to users at the right time and in the correct form.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 9 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

Keywords

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Article

David Lewin, Brian Williamson and Martin Cave

What rules, if any, should regulators put in place to provide incentives for timely and efficient investment in next generation fibre access networks (NGA) while, at the

Abstract

Purpose

What rules, if any, should regulators put in place to provide incentives for timely and efficient investment in next generation fibre access networks (NGA) while, at the same time, preventing monopoly abuse, either by taking monopoly rents from end users or harming downstream competition? This paper aims to focus on these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

The findings in this paper are based on review of existing work in the area and on interviews with 25 operators and regulators across the European Union.

Findings

Active (bitstream) remedies will be important for preserving competition in the supply of retail, NGA‐based, products. Regulators should specify the price regulation principles, which would apply to operators found to have significant market power (SMP) in NGA supply in advance of any market definition and SMP assessment. Regulators should allow access providers to provide distinct NGA‐based bitstream products to meet the needs of different segments of the end‐user market and to then charge for these products at the wholesale level so as to reflect their value to end users rather than their costs.

Originality/value

This paper is designed to simulate general debate on the best way to regulate NGA

Details

info, vol. 11 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6697

Keywords

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Article

Morten Falch and Anders Henten

This paper seeks to examine the investment dimensions of next generation networks from a universal service perspective in a European context. The question is how new

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to examine the investment dimensions of next generation networks from a universal service perspective in a European context. The question is how new network infrastructures for providing access for everyone to communication, information and entertainment services in the present and future information society will be funded.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper starts by looking at the range of policy measures available for promoting broadband access. This is followed by an overview of existing and upcoming access network technologies. Before concluding, there is a section on alternative funding mechanisms, including a sub‐section on the potential of private public partnerships (PPP) in providing funding for broadband access infrastructures.

Findings

Although there is nothing in principle hindering the development of universal service policies from those that include a specific service and its underlying network technology towards more general access, other policy measures are likely to become more important in practice for the fulfilment of the universal service goal. Wide diffusion and de facto universal service will, to a higher degree, have to rely on other measures: alternative funding mechanisms and a wider range of policy measures to expand broadband take‐up.

Originality/value

The value of the paper is in its combination of two issues often discussed separately: alternative funding mechanisms and universal access. Furthermore, the implications of NGN are examined.

Details

info, vol. 10 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6697

Keywords

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Article

Richard A. Cawley

This paper aims to examine the recent performance of European Union (EU) telecommunications policy in the context of the policy aims set out in the original green paper of

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the recent performance of European Union (EU) telecommunications policy in the context of the policy aims set out in the original green paper of 1987. It also aims to consider some problems encountered in applying the regulatory rules to interconnection, mobile roaming and broadband.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws on economic and institutional analysis undertaken in 2007, complemented with monitoring of the EU policy response and empirical evidence until 2012.

Findings

The paper finds that, despite the success of the regulatory reform of 2003, the EU has encountered problems in dealing with a few “big ticket” policy items via its market reviews. The difficulties stem from a mix of factors, including poor methodological design and an erroneous assumption that effective competition is feasible in all market segments. Three main avenues for improvement are suggested, whilst retaining the basic structure of the cycle of market reviews.

Originality/value

The paper draws on theory, as well as empirical and institutional evidence over two decades, to highlight some flaws in dealing with some key telecommunications policy issues in the EU. It is of value to policy makers, industry analysts and academics.

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Article

Martin Cave and Tony Shortall

The purpose of this paper is to set out the history and content of the European Commission's Recommendation on the regulation of next generation access networks, published

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to set out the history and content of the European Commission's Recommendation on the regulation of next generation access networks, published in September 2010. The aim is to assess the Recommendation in terms of its likely impact on harmonisation and certainty of regulation within the European Union and on investment and competition.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach adopted is to review the European Commission's Recommendation from the standpoint of regulatory economics.

Findings

The publication in September 2010 of the Recommendation on the regulation of next generation access networks completed a process which had begun two years and two drafts previously. The paper sets out the background to the decision to prepare a Recommendation for national regulators supervising the installation of fibre based networks, where the fibre might go either to the premises (FTTP) or to the street cabinet (FTTC). It also describes the development of the Recommendation from the first draft in September 2008 to the final draft in September 2010. It concludes that the delay in issuing the Recommendation created an interval in which national regulators pursued their own diverse policies, to the detriment of harmonisation. In terms of investment and competition, the successive drafts appear to have diminished pressure on competitors to build their own infrastructures, with consequential effects on the likely form of competition. Finally, a degree of regulatory uncertainty has been created in member states where the regulator has pursued in its market reviews of fibre access products remedies which are at odds with the Recommendation.

Originality/value

This is an early appraisal of a European Commission Recommendation which is likely to have a significant impact on European communications policy and regulation.

Details

info, vol. 13 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6697

Keywords

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Article

Frank B. Oliver

During the last year or so we have seen glimpses of a brave new world of futuristic “next generation” systems offering all manner of document access, retrieval and…

Abstract

During the last year or so we have seen glimpses of a brave new world of futuristic “next generation” systems offering all manner of document access, retrieval and delivery systems for the end‐user, predictions of revolution in the publishing business and the imminent demise of the Library and Information professionals. This paper addresses some of the issues that face the developers of such systems. It shows that current technology cannot satisfy fully the expectation and that such systems will challenge many well‐established cultural aspects and infrastructures of organizations. The views expressed are based on the experience of the author who worked for 18 months on a project for the British Library, codenamed DiSCovery (now called Inside). This product seeks to combine the latest technology and operational practices into a system that has the potential to revolutionize the way users access and receive material from the British Library.

Details

Interlending & Document Supply, vol. 24 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-1615

Keywords

Abstract

Details

Microelectronics International, vol. 25 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-5362

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Article

Sergio Ramos, Maite Arcos and Cristina Armuña

The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the direct involvement of public administrations in the supply side of electronic communications markets based on

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the direct involvement of public administrations in the supply side of electronic communications markets based on the Spanish experience. It is an example of the difficult balance in the public private interplay in next generation electronic communications networks.

Design/methodology/approach

Starting from a general overview of the conditions for public intervention in the development of infrastructures established by the electronic communications regulatory framework, this paper analyses the case of Spain as an illustrative example taking into consideration some specific initiatives to illustrate the different possible mechanisms of intervention on the supply side.

Findings

It is the opinion of the authors that a framework of public‐private collaboration in the field of electronic communications infrastructure development is consistent with the industry liberalisation model chosen one decade ago in Spain and it could be particularly adequate in an environment of financial hardship such as the present one, which leads to a greater demand for efficiency in the use of public and private resources. However, the conditions and limitations for public involvement should be persistently respected. In addition, there are novel policy instruments on the supply side that could help the deployment of next generation networks without the burden of substituting private initiative.

Originality/value

The paper presents a systematic analysis of policy instruments for direct intervention of public administrations in the supply side of electronic communications market, including the specific situation of Spain. It is also a contribution to the debate on the role of public administrations in developing electronic communications infrastructures.

Details

info, vol. 11 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6697

Keywords

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