Friday, June 03, 2011

I hate to do global comparisons but ....

In the context of the National Digital Economy Strategy it is interesting to compare the work done in different places.

In the US the FCC has just released its Seventh broadband progress report. This report finds that "too many Americans remain unable to fully participate in our economy and society because they lack broadband". The FCC is charged by Statute to "take immediate action to accelerate deployment of such capability by removing barriers to infrastructure investment and by promoting competition in the telecommunications market."

The bad news I have for the Americans are that the two goals of removing barriers to investment and promoting competition are actually at odds with each other when the investment has such large economies of scale that it is "sub-additive". That's why Australia's HFC deployment stopped when it did - the US has wider fibre deployment because of cable franchises - a solution proposed in Australia by Kerry Packer and rightly rejected by Paul Keating on the basis of who was proposing it. I noted here the problem with cable franchises as a competitive model.

Meanwhile in Europe they have just published a scoreboard on progress of the Digital Agenda for Europe.

The contrast I want to draw here is between the information rich reports in these two regions when compared with the paucity of data available in Australia.

In management there is an old adage that "what gets measured gets done". In my longer comments on the DE Strategy I will eventually get to this.

Novae Meridianae Demetae Dexter delenda est

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