Like many other governments in the world, the Australian government has taken a multi-faceted approach to promoting broadband Internet access. This chapter provides an in-depth analysis of the impact of policy issues on broadband Internet access in Australia. The primary goal of this chapter is to develop a holistic understanding of Australia’s national approaches pertaining to broadband Internet access. This research has clearly indicated that the state of broadband Internet access is closely related to the government’s policy and regulatory framework. The government has been basing its actions on market forces as a principal driver for broadband Internet connectivity. However, market forces only play their roles in improving broadband Internet access in the major cities and have little effect in regional and rural Australia. The research has indicated that the regulatory competition regime, by and large, has failed to address concerns of market dominance and market power in the telecommunications sector as is evidenced by a relatively lower price-performance ratio of broadband services in Australia.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Internet Backbone Provider: A company that usually has substantial network infrastructure and provides ISPs with aggregated access to many or all networks accessible via the Internet protocol.
Policy: A set of government activities, which can be broadly characterized as regulations, national strategies/initiatives, and funding programs.
Internet Interconnection: The arrangement through which Internet backbone providers and Internet services providers physically connect to each other’s networks and transfer Internet traffic.
Broadband Internet Access: Often shortened to “broadband Internet” or just “broadband,” refers to a high data-transmission rate Internet connection (retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broadband_Internet_access).
Unbundling Local Loop (ULL): Term used to describe the access provided by local exchange carriers so that other service providers may buy or lease portions of its network elements, such as interconnection loops to serve subscribers (Kennard, 1999).
Internet Service Provider (ISP): A firm that provides Internet access services to end users.