Technologies and Policies to Connect the Next Five Billion

48 Pages Posted: 14 Jan 2014 Last revised: 15 Jan 2015

See all articles by David Reed

David Reed

University of Colorado at Boulder, Computer Science Department

Jennifer Haroon

Google, Inc.

Patrick Spaulding Ryan Ph.D.

Berkeley Law; Stanford University

Date Written: January 13, 2014


In this paper, we present a broadband deployment framework describing how “the next 5 billion” may be connected to the Internet in the future. This framework identifies the most promising Internet technologies and the areas where they should be deployed. To summarize, we see wireless platforms being used in rural markets and other areas that will benefit greatly from a high degree of shared infrastructure, particularly with an electrical powering solution. Over time, fiber-based networks will gradually fill across the network, migrating from the core to the edge.

In our research, we also describe and promote a certain set of policies (many of which may not require laws) that will facilitate the prompt and efficient deployment of broadband infrastructure. These policies include (1) promoting shared infrastructure, (2) liberalizing spectrum policy, (3) facilitating access and interconnection through Internet exchange points (IXPs), (4) creating an ecosystem that stimulates demand for broadband (and associated innovation, entrepreneurship, and technical experimentation), and (5) sharing information and discussing best practices among parties with common interests within geographical regions.

Keywords: spectrum policy, IXPs, broadband policy, broadband plan, loon, wireless platforms, satellites

JEL Classification: K23, L96, R38, R52

Suggested Citation

Reed, David and Haroon, Jennifer and Ryan, Patrick, Technologies and Policies to Connect the Next Five Billion (January 13, 2014). Berkeley Technology Law Journal, Vol. 29, 2014, Available at SSRN:

David Reed (Contact Author)

University of Colorado at Boulder, Computer Science Department ( email )

1070 Edinboro Drive
Boulder, CO 80309
United States

Jennifer Haroon

Google, Inc. ( email )

1600 Ampitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, CA 94043
United States

Patrick Ryan

Berkeley Law ( email )

United States
303-669-5710 (Phone)

Stanford University ( email )

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