Thursday, May 31, 2012

Chelsea - BT is not deploying fibre since the council has blocked installation of its fibre street cabinet

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea had block BT from installing street cabinets used for its fibre to the curb project, according to AP.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Rural Scotland - Broadband is integral to social and economic development and to the delivery of the "National Outcomes in rural Scotland"

The Rural Policy Centre at the Scottish Agricultural College (SAC) has published its biennial report on Rural Scotland in Focus.
The population of rural Scotland is growing, accounting for approximately 20% of the population - now over one million people. It also continues to change, becoming more culturally diverse. The employment base is broader than 20 years ago and an improved infrastructure increasingly allows for greater spread of business, home-working and the generation of renewable energy. Community engagement in the ownership of land and assets, together with the delivery of services through partnerships, gives potential for locally-specific approaches. Meanwhile rural towns and businesses play an increasing role in reducing vulnerability by increasing the spread of employment.

Rural next generation broadband: is integral to Scotland’s social and economic development and to the delivery of the Scottish Government’s National Outcomes. Demand is persistent and increasing. While urban Scotland’s connectivity gets faster much of rural Scotland remains in the “final third” with “not-spots” and “twilight zones” hampering inclusion and development. Even maintaining the existing divide will require significant infrastructural investment, including by communities themselves. Next generation broadband enables the realisation of commonly-accepted “rights” for Scotland’s citizens, irrespective of location. National investment remains essential to enable rural communities and businesses to live and work in a fit-for-purpose digital Scotland.

Improvements to broadband in many (though by no means all) rural areas also mean that private sector businesses are able to diversify into, or set up in, new ‘knowledgebased’ sectors, such as web or graphic design or market research.

Section 5 is dedicated to Next generation broadband in rural Scotland, of which the key finding are:
  • There is no doubt that high-speed or next generation broadband is integral to social and economic development and to the delivery of Scotland’s National Outcomes in rural Scotland.
  • However, despite strategies and investments since 1999, much of rural Scotland remains in the “final third” with “not-spots” and “twilight zones” hampering inclusion and development. Urban Scotland’s connectivity, meanwhile, is getting faster, faster.
  • In fact, significant infrastructural investment, including by communities themselves, is required even to maintain the rural-urban digital divide.
  • Next generation broadband enables the realisation of commonly-accepted “rights” for Scotland’s citizens, irrespective of location – and the role of next generation broadband in supporting the delivery of these rights is indisputable.
  • Demand for next generation broadband is persistent and increasing amongst rural businesses and communities, from accessible to remoter areas.
  • This demand for next generation broadband in rural Scotland, and the implications of not meeting it, means that partnership working and ongoing investment are becoming more critical. This is particularly so in times of efficiency budgeting and declining services experienced in many rural areas. National-level investment across Scotland remains essential. Communities, private and public sectors exchanging knowledge and experience - for example through Broadband Delivery UK, Scotland’s Infrastructure Investment Plan, and Scotland’s Digital Infrastructure Action Plan – are critical for rural communities and businesses to experience the advantages of a digital Scotland.

UK - Children use blackberry as a phone as much as fruit and find information by Googling, while showing familiarity with apps

The Guardian reports an analysis of the writing of children by the OUP, using the stories submitted to a BBC writing competition. In addition to a growing Americanisation of English usage, it found that:
The research finds that of nearly 300 instances of the word "blackberry", almost half referred to phones. Technology was also an integral part of plots in the stories, with characters "Googling" for answers rather than looking in books and using apps rather than rabbit holes or magical wardrobes to enter fantasy worlds.

China - for comparison, operators will invest £37 billion this year in optical fibre network infrastructure

Everything is relative. Digitimes reports the three broadband operators (China Telecom, China Unicom and China Mobile) will invest a total of CNY 370 billion (£37 billion) in optical fibre infrastructure in 2012. This will be an increase of 10 per cent over 2011.

The aim of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) is to increase the fixed broadband by 20 million in 2012 to 176 million (with more than 50% having download speeds of more than 4 Mbps) and FTTx subscribers reaching 35 million by the end of 2012.

See also Total Telecom.

UK - Very little evidence of willingness to pay more for 100 Mbps "superfast" broadband

PC Advisor reports the results of a poll on its web site concerning the willingness to pay for 100 Mbps broadband. Exclusive of the line rental it found:
A whopping 77 percent revealed that they would not pay over £30 a month for such speeds, with only 10 percent claiming they would be prepared to pay over £30 for the superfast broadband.
This is made up of
  • 28 per cent only willing to pay up to £10
  • 28 per cent prepared to pay £10-£20
  • 21 per cent happy to pay £20-£30
  • 10 per cent over £10
  • 3 per cent don't know
  • 11 per cent happy with standard speed and price

USA - Head of NTIA warns of the political challenges around broadband funding in an election year

PC Advisor reports that Lawrence Strickling, the assistant secretary for communications and information at the Department of Commerce and administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) as saying:
We're in an election year," Strickling said. "There are people out there who have as their commitment the desire to try to embarrass this program. And they'll be looking at every little thing that you're doing.

Everyone should understand, we're focused on working with each of you to help evaluate and determine how you can keep your projects going past the end of the federal money arriving," he said

UK - Urban broadband fund - three cities designated as potential recipients

eGov Monitor reports that Aberdeen, Dundee and Perth are listed for a possible share of £50 million for broadband.
Inverness and Stirling have been excluded on the basis that they have less than 45,000 homes and businesses. Glasgow was unsuccessful in earlier rounds and is therefore ineligible to apply again.
Alex Neil MSP complained:
Inverness, as capital of the Highlands, is surely an ideal candidate for this fund. Similarly Stirling could benefit hugely from being able to bid for this funding. I have asked Mr Hunt to look again at how the Urban Broadband Fund could work in Scotland, whether Scotland could be allocated a proportion of this fund, we could ensure all of our cities could benefit effectively.

UK - Significant evidence of regional variations in use of social network services, with Scotland in the lead

The Daily Record reports the results of a BT survey showingthat of those using the Internet there were differences across the UK in the use of social network services.
  • 48per cent in Scotland
  • 20per cent in Northern Ireland
  • 43per cent in Wales
  • 33per cent in the North East England
  • 39per cent in the South West
  • 45.7per cent in London
Social networks are equal to news and current affairs websites in terms of popularity in Scotland.

It is worth noting that there are variations between the nations and regions of the UK in the use of the Internet. This needs to be considered in understanding these figures.

Broadband - £500 million funding for procurement of broadband in Scotland through BDUK framework

The Drum claims that:
The Scottish Government will invest around £500m in broadband for communities and businesses by 2015, cabinet secretary for infrastructure and capital investment Alex Neil pledged today
This appears to a somewhat Brownian description of the financing.

Reading the publication of the Scottish Government the money appears to come from the European Regional Development Fund, from HM Treasury via Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) and HMG funding for local authorities, topped up under the antique Barnett Formula.

The Herald notes:

According to the document Step Change 2015 the work will be appointed under the UK-wide Broadband Delivery Framework, rather than a Scotland-only "competitive dialogue" after a review "concluded that [this] would be a faster means of achieving our ambitions".
The investment will be in "white" areas, where there would be no plans to provide such services, something the Salmond Administration will now put to a consultation, seeking details of investment plans by the operators. It will also work with local authorities on their priorities.

It is also publishing details of progress in delivering Step Change 2015.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

UK - Virgin Media argues that BDUK is propping up the BT monopoly

The Guardian reports that:
A total of £980m has been earmarked for improving Britain's broadband network, including £530m during this parliament to get a basic 2Mbps broadband service to Britain's hardest to reach areas. But rivals fear most of the money will go to BT.
It quotes Virgin Media chief operating officer, Andrew Barron as writing in its letters column that:
The noble ambition of locally procured rural broadband networks is protracted and likely to favour the incumbent, freezing out new entrants

The outcome of current government policy is likely to be the subsidy of already dominant infrastructure in areas where we are not, to the sum of hundreds of millions of pounds of public money."

The BT response was that:
BT would be more than happy to compete directly with Virgin for BDUK funds but we doubt that will happen. That is because Virgin have steadfastly refused to provide open wholesale access to their network – a key BDUK requirement – and because they have shown no interest to date in supplying rural areas with broadband.

This is in contrast to BT who offer broadband services on a wholesale basis to 99% of UK premises. Fujitsu have announced their intention to bid for funds and so there will be a competitive process. We are already seeing this in several part of the UK.

The BBC reports that the Labour Party spokesman saw HMG "sleepwalking into another monopoly".

Cumbria - Loss of broadband service which proved not to be sustainable without a subsidy

The Guardian reports the loss of broadband service in part of Cumbria as a consequence of the ending of a subsidy.

The Duddon Valley is losing its Cable & Wireless broadband service, with the alternative being the Ku band satellite service:

Cable & Wireless Worldwide has written to residents to say the public funds raised to pay for the service have expired, and because the connection is "uneconomical", it is to be withdrawn.

Using European money, the North West Development Agency, which was abolished along with all other regional development agencies in March, spent £15m to bring broadband to Cumbria. The investment was made in the wake of the foot and mouth epidemic 2001, which decimated local agriculture and tourism.

About £500,000 was spent on connections for Duddon, Branthwaite and three other valleys that were all too remote for BT broadband. The hardest-to-reach homes were connected to the internet not via the copper wires but using radio masts, with small receivers on the outside of properties to pick up the signal.

BT - 20 Mbps broadband to be available to 3/4 of homes and businesses by 2013 Q1

The Scotsman reports that a further 124,000 homes in Scotland will have access to faster broadband (up to 20 Mbps) by spring 2013. This includes towns such as Bo’ness, Brechin Lockerbie, Scone and Tillicoutry are among the communities to be included in BT’s rollout of new generation copper lines which will be able to deliver broadband of up to 20 Mbps per second.

This services is already available to 1.5 million homes and businesses in Scotland.

By early 2013, three-quarters of premises in Scotland will be able to connect at 20 Mbps, while 40 per cent will have the option of superfast FTTC.

Brendan Dick, BT Scotland director said:

The rapid roll out of faster broadband offers a great opportunity for Scotland. It is an important part of BT’s plans to help ensure the nation is able to take full advantage of the communications revolution.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

UK - Lords Cttee questions witnesses in inquiry into superfast broadband

The Communications Committee of the House of Lords took evidence yesterday, 22nd May, from witnesses in its inquiry into broadband.

Minutes of evidence will be available shortly.

Monday, May 21, 2012

UK - Forecast for 2016 of 10.8 million superfast lines of 25.9 milllion broadband lines

Cable reports an increase in superfast broadband lines. It quotes Point Topic as forecasting there will be 10.8 million of super-fast connections by the end of 2016, while the total number of broadband lines is expected to be 25.9 million.

Jersey - JT offers 1 Gbps for £60/month will reach all homes by 2016

Recombu reports that the JT Group (formerly Jersey Telecom) has begun rollout of FTTH.

It has two offers £59.99 per month for 1 Gbps download and 100 Mbps upload speeds (with a 50 GB usage cap) or a cheaper offer of 100 Mbps download with uploads of 20 Mbps (again with a 50 GB usage cap).

All homes in Jersey are expected to be served by 2016.

Graeme Millar, CEO of JT, said:

Clearly it takes time to replace the island-wide copper cable network, “We need to do that in stages to minimise disruption and gain appropriate access to the 42,000 homes. Thankfully when we laid the copper, we did it in such a way as to make it as easy as possible to replace, which will help to keep that disruption to a minimum.
A total of £40 million of funding from JT and the State of Jersey is being provided for the Gigabit Jersey venture. At 42,000 homes that is an average of £952 per home.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

UK - Delays in HMG's Communications Green Paper because of NOTW/Leveson issues, with a possible jump to a white paper

The Guardian speculates on the fate of the proposed green paper on communications has been delayed:
Jeremy Hunt's political problems have meant that the planned publication of a communications green paper has been put on hold until the culture secretary has given evidence to the Leveson inquiry and dealt with accusations that he favoured News Corporation in its negotiations to buy all of BSkyB.

Those close to Hunt's Department for Culture, Media and Sport say that the communications green paper – which will set out government's initial policy thinking in areas as diverse as internet piracy, public service broadcasting and spectrum allocation – has been largely written but is now unlikely to be published until autumn at the earliest.

One source said that Hunt and the DCMS were distracted by the Murdoch controversy and it would be impossible for the document to be published "until September at the earliest", assuming the culture secretary gives a successful performance before the judge in the coming weeks.

There are also suggestions that the green paper could be shelved completely, with ministers instead moving to publish a white paper that by then would incorporate any relevant recommendations arising from the Leveson inquiry about the future of press regulation.

Broadcast takes a similar line, adding it saw the legislation would focus on telecommunications rather than broadcasting.

Legislation is still scheduled for the 2014/15 parliamentary session.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

UK - Scotland and especially SW Scotland lag the UK in Internet use

The Office of National Statistics has published Internet Access Quarterly Update, 2012 Q1. It identified the key points as being:
  • At 2012 Q1, 8.12 million adults (16.1 per cent) had never used the Internet. This is about 1 per cent lower than 2011 Q4 and 7 per cent lower than 2011 Q1
  • There were 42.16 million adults (83.7 per cent) who had ever used the Internet at 2012 Q1
  • Men (86.1 per cent) were more likely to be Internet users than women (81.3 per cent)
  • By region, the South East had the highest rate of Internet users (86.9 per cent); Northern Ireland was the lowest (75.1 per cent)
The estimates, which are experimental, are derived from the Labour Force Survey (LFS).

Individuals (000s)Ever used Never used
2011 Q1 2011 Q2 2011 Q3 2011 Q4 2012 Q1 2011 Q1 2011 Q2 2011 Q3 2011 Q42012 Q1
North Eastern Scotland3563683613683778676747360
Eastern Scotland1,3811,3791,3941,3871,382256269256252262
South Western Scotland1,4651,4631,4771,4881,521414416394394365
Highlands and Islands2402452442592535139514448

Scotland continues to lag UK levels of Internet adoption by about 1.3per cent, with no evidence of catching up. It is South-West Scotland which appears to be dragging Scotland down, still with 19.3 per cent of non-users.

Percentage of populationEver used Never used
2011 Q1 2011 Q2 2011 Q3 2011 Q4 2012 Q1 2011 Q1 2011 Q2 2011 Q3 2011 Q42012 Q1
UK 82.2 82.3 82.9 83.5 83.7 17.5 17.4 16.8 16.3 16.1
Scotland 80.9 81.1 81.5 82.0 82.6 19.0 18.8 18.2 17.8 17.2
North Eastern Scotland 80.5 82.7 82.7 83.1 86.0 19.4 17.2 16.9 16.4 13.8
Eastern Scotland 84.3 83.6 84.4 84.5 83.9 15.7 16.3 15.5 15.3 15.9
South Western Scotland 77.8 77.6 78.6 79.0 80.6 22.0 22.1 21.0 20.9 19.3
Highlands and Islands 82.4 86.2 82.5 85.2 83.2 17.6 13.8 17.2 14.6 15.8

Parliament - Responses to Cttee report on broadband from Scottish Govt, BDUK and OFCOM

The Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee of the Scottish Parliament published a report on broadband at the end of March (see blog entry). The various responses are now available from:Alex Neil, the Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure and Capital Investment, noted that:
I believe aiming for world class digital connectivity by 2020, with substantial improvements in digital access by 2015, is an extremely ambitious but achievable approach that will deliver for the whole of Scotland and in particular our remote and rural areas.
Most of the detailed responses were references to the Infrastructure Action Plan.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Advertising - Claims that the attempts to clarify advertised speeds have proved counter-productive

In a press release, BroadbandGenie claims that the work of the ASA and OFCOM to make broadband speeds fairer in advertising have "inadvertently" made things much more confusing.

New rules, in force since 1st April 2012, limit ISPs to claiming 'up to' speeds only if they can be achieved by at least 10 per cent of customers.

Broadband Genie's editor Matt Powell claimed that:

In many cases the download speeds quoted are still far in excess of the rates a user is likely to see in practice. While at the same time it hasn't made things any clearer for someone who simply wants the best service for their money - in fact, it's now worse.

Now when comparing broadband services we're seeing a wider range of speeds, even when ISPs are using the same equipment. Postcode checks on an unbundled exchange result in varying estimates, some as high as 18Mb[ps], but there's no difference in the hardware at the exchange and in reality the line is not going to be faster than 8Mb[ps].

Monday, May 14, 2012

UK - Survey suggests minimum guaranteed speed needs to be over 10 Mbps

Think Broadband blogs that the Govt's promise of 2 Mbps broadband is seen as too slow in a survey.

The respondents preferred speeds of 8-50 Mbps. They comment that:

The response suggests there the public has become used to speed upgrades that come at almost no extra cost.

Asked how much extra they would pay to double their existing speeds, one third would nothing and the next third, less than £5.

The methodology is not explained, but it appears to be 2,400 self-selecting respondents from an on-line web survey.

Cornwall - Labs project to research topics/services that benefit from superfast broadband

BT’s Superfast Cornwall is funded by the EU, BT and Cornwall Council, and managed by Cornwall Development Company. It will bring Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) enabling speeds of up to 80 Mbps in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

Recombu reports an initiative for research into fields where 80Mbps broadband can benefit residents of Cornwall in ways other than being able to stream multiple HD movies.

The Superfast Cornwall Labs project at University College Falmouth (UCF) will conduct research into areas such as delivery of public and remote e-services (similar to NHS Direct), distance learning and other creative endeavours. The Labs will create three PhD placements for research into these areas.

Already underway is the 'University of the Village' project between UCF, University of Glamorgan, BT and rural communities in Cornwall and Wales. It is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

Canada - $1 billion for fibre in Arctic Nunavut - study

The Alaska Dispatch reports that a fibre optic system for broadband in Canada's eastern Arctic territory of Nunavut, would cost more than $1 billion to install.

The web site of the Nunavut Broadband Development Corporation has some very severe warnings from Google about Malware.

Nonetheless, the report is available.

The report recommends a back-up satellite in case fibre wires are broken.

see also Nunatsiaq Online notes:

“It is critical that concurrent investment in high-throughput satellite will be required to serve non-fibre linked communities, and to provide effective back up in the event of a fibre failure,”
It draws attention to some of the problems and challenges of undersea cables:
  • protecting undersea cable from damage by ice, tides and commercial fishing;
  • “scouring” damage caused by icebergs:
  • the lack of accurate bathymetric information about the sea bottom and accurate nautical chart information;
  • the potential cost of an environmental review and permitting activities, involving at leasat nine federal and territorial agencies;
  • the problem of how to maintain and repair such a remote cable, especially under sea ice;
  • the installation of local cable landing spots in communities with sensitive environmental areas;
  • laying cable amidst difficult ice conditions;
  • the high cost of such a system when compared with a “relatively small telecommunications demand profile,” which in plain language means Nunavut’s tiny population and limited ability to pay

UK - 10 of 27 smaller cities are competing for funding for super-fast broadband

ZDnet reports that the competition for funding from a £50 million funf for "super-fast broadband" is between: Aberdeen, Brighton & Hove, Cambridge, Chelmsford, Coventry, Derby, Dundee, Exeter, Gloucester, Kingston upon Hull, Leicester, Londonderry/Derry, Newport, Norwich, Oxford, Perth, Peterborough, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Preston, Salford, Southampton, Stoke-on-Trent, Sunderland, Swansea, Wolverhampton and York. Ten of the twenty-seven will selected.

Larger cities, sharing a £100 million fund are: Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Newcastle, Nottingham, Manchester and Sheffield.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Perthshire - MSP complains of insufficient bandwidth in some rural areas for BBC iPlayer

IC Perthshire reports (from I think the Blairgowrie Advertiser) a further intervention on broadband by Murdo Fraser MSP.

Fraser again complains about "poor" broadband in eastern and highland Perthshire, claiming an adverse effect on local businesses.

The Scottish Government must understand the growing frustration from local businesses and residents in Perthshire regarding the lack of broadband connectivity, including those who live in the Amulree, Butterstone, Glenshee, Trochry, Loch Tay, Strathbraan and Strathardle areas of Perthshire.

I have spoken with many local residents and businesses and it is clear that the poor service needs to be upgraded. It is disappointing that the Scottish Government will not make Perthshire a priority area for investment as we need to see our local exchanges upgraded to provide faster and more reliable broadband.

As is usual in such complaints there are only very vague indications of the real problems in terms of speeds, quality of service or lack of availability, with a claim that in some areas the BBC iPlayer does not work.

Inevitably, neither the costs of any infrastructural improvements nor the economic benefits if they were made are indicated.

The response of the Salmond Administration was to restate its existing policy.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

England - DEFRA opens bids from £20 million fund for rural areas

V3 reports that the government has invited remoter parts of England to apply for a share of a £20 million Rural Community Broadband Fund (RCBF) run by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). This is intended to help the rollout of superfast broadband services.

Eligible costs include: Capital works; Facilitation and technical support costs; other service establishment costs, but not ongoing maintenance costs.

See also the dedicated DEFRA website.

Ireland - Towards a national broadband strategy, government is consulting on report with 42 recommendations

The Government of Ireland has published the Report of the Next Generation Broadband Taskforce. There is a consultation until the end of May on best to facilitate the provision of high speed broadband. According to the suppliers, more than 50 per cent of Ireland's population would have access to at least 70 Mbps by 2015. The report has 42 recommendations. For example, a stumbling block is access to existing fibre infrastructure – ducts run alongside motorways and co-operation with local authorities in rolling out infrastructure. The Minister, Pat Rabbitte, said every part of Ireland will have broadband by 2013 and will meet EU targets of high-speed broadband for every citizen by 2020. The Taskforce was a collaborative approach between industry and the Departmental of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources aimed at assisting the Government to develop an informed and ambitious National Broadband Plan to achieve “faster broadband to more places as soon as possible”. The Taskforce was chaired by the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Mr. Pat Rabbitte T.D., supported by Minister of State, Mr. Fergus O’Dowd T.D., with the the CEOs of the six main electronic communications network operators: BT, Eircom/Meteor, Hutchison 3G Ireland (3), Telefonica O2, UPC & Vodafone. The Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg), the Telecommunications and Internet Federation (TIF) and Forfás were observers. Executive Summary and Full Report

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

UK - Ranked 16th for download speed with little concern by operators to go for fibre to the home

The Guardian, picking up on work by Akamai, notes that the UK is heading for the slow lane of broadband.
The internet is a bigger part of the British economy than education, healthcare or construction. Britons generate more money online than any other G20 nation. But when it comes to high-speed broadband, the country is falling behind.
Akamai rated the UK's average download speed as only ranked 16th in Europe.

Previous evidence is that speeds in Scotland are below the UK average.

BT's strategy head, Sean Williams is quoted as saying:

Eighty Mbps is more than people need ... We are not of the school that universal fibre to the premises is the solution.
TalkTalk's chief executive, Dido Harding, is quoted as saying:
I think that Britain's broadband vision needs to be about more people using broadband rather than macho claims about the speed of the technology ... The UK has got 8 million people who have never used the internet and they are often the people in society who would most benefit from it.
See the Akamai State of the Internet Report for 2011 Q4 (free, but have to register).

Thursday, May 3, 2012

UK - report on the expected benefits of superfast broadband sponsored by Convergys

A report sponsored by Convergys examines the Costs and Benefits of Superfast Broadband in the UK. The authors, Paolo Dini, Claire Milne and Robert Milne, examine EXPECTATIONS in the absence of evidence, noting the need for
basic training in e-skills for everyone at work and at home.
Warning that:
the case for yet higher speeds (over 100Mbps, and in particular for the general deployment of fibre to the home) is much less clear.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

OECD - Literature review on ICTs and productivity and a reports on public ICT infrastructure and standards of living

The OECD has published two reports: Measuring the Impact of Innovations in Public IT Infrastructure on the Standard of Living in OECD Economies
Advances in information technology (IT) in the first decade of the 21st century have highlighted the role of IT as an enabling technology throughout an economy. But although the influence of IT in transforming the way in which business and consumer transactions are done is clear to all participants in the production-consumption process, it is difficult to attribute a specific value to and precisely measure the importance of the role of IT in improving consumer welfare. The measurement of the economic value of public infrastructure has traditionally been problematic because of its ‘public good’ nature, which means that many users can benefit from use of public infrastructure at the very same time. This is especially true of ‘New Economy’ infrastructure such as IT, which links so naturally with developments in telecommunications so that the existence of many users, far from creating congestion in use, actually enhances the value of the infrastructure through network effects. In response to the measurement problem, the approach of the current paper is to utilise an economic model that looks at the end result – observations on changes in the pattern of consumer spending behaviour – and econometrically estimates the extent of the link between these behavioural changes and their drivers: traditional economic stimuli as well as changes in the economic environment due to advances in technology and improved provision of public sector IT infrastructure. Counterfactual simulations with the estimated model provide money-metric measures of the welfare benefits of innovations in Internet-based public sector IT infrastructure in a variety of OECD economies.
Information and Communication Technologies and Productivity Growth: A Survey of the Literature
This paper presents a review of existing studies on dynamic, macroeconomic effects of the ICT on productivity and growth.