Assigning Broadband Rights

6 Pages Posted: 25 Jul 2004


Some Internet service providers (ISPs) and portals like Yahoo! and Earthlink are concerned that cable television and telephone companies that now provide residential high-speed Internet access may branch out into the provision of content or enter into exclusive deals for content. Their fear is that this might result in content-access providers becoming monopolists who cut off current ISPs and content providers from access to existing and new customers. If local broadband Internet services were supplied by an entrenched monopolist, and if that monopolist sought to integrate vertically into Internet content and standards creation or to restrict use of its proprietary standards in order to extend or perfect its market power, there would be a case for reassignment of access (and/or standard-setting) rights to users or others. But those conditions are not yet met, so such intervention is not justified.

Keywords: ISPs, high-speed Internet, Internet access, broadband, broadband rights, content-access provider, property rights, property rights assignments, use rights, standard-setting

JEL Classification: 034, 038, L13, K20

Suggested Citation

Owen, Bruce M., Assigning Broadband Rights. Regulation, Vol. 27, No. 2, pp. 24-29, Summer 2004. Available at SSRN:

Bruce M. Owen (Contact Author)

Stanford University ( email )

366 Galvez Street
Stanford, CA 94305-6015
United States


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