State of Telecom National Broadband Plans

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State of Telecom: National Next-Generation Broadband Plans

Friday, October 23, 2009
Columbia University, New York

Countries around the world are undertaking ambitious and far-reaching national plans to deploy ubiquitous next-generation "UltraBroadband" (UBB) infrastructures based on fiber or next-generation wireless. Some plans are based on general upgrade goals and others are part of economic stimulus efforts.

National Broadband Plans exist, in some form, for a number of countries. This year, CITI's "State of Telecom" conference reviewed a number of these national plans.


8:30 - 9:00 Registration and Continental Breakfast

9:00 - Welcome

  • Robert Pepper,Chair of CITI's Advisory Board and Vice President, Global Technology Policy, Cisco

9:15 - Roundtable Discussion of the National Broadband Plans

  • United States: Blair Levin, Executive Director of the FCC's Omnibus Broadband Initiative
  • Germany: Matthias Kurth, President of the Federal Network Agency 
  • Britain: Derek Wyatt, M.P., Co-chairman of Parliament's All Party Communications Group
  • France: Bernard Benhamou, Head of the Interministerial Delegation on Internet Usage, Ministry of Research and State Secretariat for Digital Economy
  • Singapore: Andrew J. Haire, Deputy Director General (Telecoms and Post) of the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore
  • Sweden: Patrik Sandgren, Strategy and Communication Department of the Post and Telecom Agency
  • Brazil: Cezar Alvarez, Head of Cabinet of President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and responsible for the Brazilian broadband plan

Moderator: Eli Noam, Director of CITI, who will ask:

  • How have the plans around the world been conceived and justified, at whose initiative, and how are they being administered?
  • How are these plans financed, and what are their cost metrics?
  • Which countries are "ahead" or "behind" in UBB deployment and adoption rates, what are the metrics, and how do these rankings affect national broadband plans?
  • Putting all of its Federal and non-Federal elements together, what exactly is the "American Broadband Plan"?

10:45 - Keynote

Lawrence Strickling, Administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA)

11:00 - Coffee Break

11:15 - Public and Private Finance: Cost and Benefit

  • Ellen Blackler, Executive Director--Public Policy, AT&T
  • Lisa Rosenblum, Senior Vice President of Regulatory and Legal Affairs of the Telephony and Data Services divsion of Cablevision Systems
  • Lorenzo Pupillo, Executive Director, Public & Economic Affairs, Telecom Italia
  • Reinhard Wieck, Vice President - Economic Research & Media Regulation, Deutsche Telekom
  • Carlos Lopez-Blanco, Director, International Office, Telefonica
  • Reza Jafari, Chairman of the ITU TELECOM Board and CEO E-Development International Chairman, India, China, and America Institute

This Panel, moderated by Dan Reingold, CITI's Director of Telecom Finance (and former top-rated Wall Street analyst) addressed these questions and issues:

  • Which plans rely primarily on private risk capital and what features of these plans are designed to attract sufficient private capital?
  • What are the appropriate vehicles: loans? Grants? Subsidies?
  • How do Wall Street and global investors regard the national broadband plans: which do they like? Which do they fear?
  • How are these plans monitored, and how is their success measured?

12:30 - Lunch

1:45 - Assessing the economic impact of broadband plans

  • Raul Katz, Director of Business Strategy Research, CITI: "Comparative assessment of broadband stimulus programs: US versus Germany"
  • Jonathan Liebenau, Reader in Technology Management, London School of Economics: "Assessing the impact of Digital Britain" presentation paper
  • Martin Fornefled, CEO, MICUS, "The economic impact of broadband on EU countries" presentation paper
  • Leonard Waverman, Dean of the Haskayne School of Business, University of Calgary, "Economic IMpact of Broadband: An Empirical Study"
  • Chris Boam, Director, International Regulatory Affairs and Public Policy, Verizon, "Comparative broadband strategies: what is success, and when/why is it successful?"
  • Heather Hudson, Professor of Telecommunication, University of San Francisco

This Panel, moderated by Bob Atkinson, CITI's Director of Policy Research, addressed questions and issues such as:

  • What is the expected employment and economic impact of the broadband plans?
  • How does the impact vary by region: highly developed areas versus developing regions or urban/suburban versus rural?
  • How do we manage trade-offs between economic development and social inclusion objectives?
  • What metrics will determine the success or failure of a program?
  • Demand programs versus supply oriented?

3:00 - Emerging Market Structure

  • Roland Montagne, Director, Telecoms Business Unit, IDATE, "UBB European Panorama at June 2009 - Status of Public Funding for UBB in Europe"
  • Larry Spiwak, President - Phoenix Center for advanced Legal and Economic Public Policy Studies
  • Nico Grove, Munich School of Management, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat Munchen
  • David Isenberg,, LCC
  • Scott Wallsten, Scott Wallsten, Economics Director of the FCC's Omnibus Broadband Initiative
  • Mark Cooper, Consumer Federation of America presentation paper

This Panel, moderated by Raul L. Katz, CITI's Director of Business Strategy Research, addressed questions and issues such as:

  • Which national broadband plans envision competitive UBB infrastructures and which envision (or encourage) a single, monopoly broadband infrastructure?
  • What are the planned or expected industry structures: Structural separation? Infrastructure competition? Regulated duopoly/monopoly? Public ownership?
  • How do the plans envision the role of wireless UBB, and what provisions for spectrum allocation are being made?

4:15 - Introducing the new book by Eli Noam "Media Ownership and Concentration in America"

Introduction of Eli Noam's new book, "Media Ownership and Concentration in America"

5:00 - Wrap Up and Book Party Reception