Whoops! Berkman Study Shows 'Open Access' Reduces Broadband Consumption
Phoenix Center Perspectives Working Paper No. 09-05
13 Pages Posted: 15 Nov 2009
Date Written: November 12, 2009
This paper examines a recent study by the Berkman Center for Internet and Society. The Berkman Study was specifically requested by the Federal Communications Commission to “conduct an independent expert review of existing literature and studies about broadband deployment and usage throughout the world.” This paper demonstrates that the Berkman Study first improperly estimates its econometric model and then incorrectly interprets the results from it. The error in the interpretation is significant. While the [Berkman] Study’s authors verbally conclude that open access policies stimulate increased consumption of broadband, the econometric model they rely upon shows the opposite - open access reduces the consumption of broadband. Because the Berkman Center incorrectly interprets the findings of its own model to draw the wrong conclusions about the impact of so-called “open access” policies on broadband consumption, the Berkman Study is so flawed that it cannot be relied upon to formulate public policy.
Keywords: Phoenix Center, Berkman Center, Broadband, Unbundling, Open Access, Network Neutrality, OECD, Broadband Rankings, Broadband Comparisons, Catching Up, de Ridder, Yochai Benkler, FCC, Internet
JEL Classification: L96, L86
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation