The paper presents candidate research topics for consideration by the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). The panel is examining broadband Internet infrastructure with the goal of developing policy advice on speeding broadband deployment by addressing demand-related issues. Six candidate research topics were derived, reflecting PCAST's primary interest in Internet access technologies that deliver 10-100 megabits per second of bandwidth to a customer. The first topic has to do with possible lessons that U.S. policymakers can learn from broadband deployment in other countries. A second topic deals with the elasticity of broadband demand and the price-sensitivity of residential demand for broadband. Next, the authors recognize that some of the problems facing broadband deployment are similar to those faced by cable TV in the 1970s and 1980s. They ask what lessons can federal, state, and local policymakers learn from the diffusion of cable TV? Then, they ask how much can wireless deployment spur demand for broadband. If the technology has promise, what policies should be considered to nurture it? In another topic, the authors discuss whether new technologies hold promise for stimulating new broadband demand and leapfrogging existing access methods. Finally, they ask if "Killer Apps" for broadband exist. Research on this topic would investigate the role of killer applications in driving the diffusion of past information and communications technologies, and then examine the policy implications for broadband.
Balkovich, Edward, Walter S. Baer, and Ben A. Vollaard, Research Topics for Informing Broadband Internet Policy. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation, 2003. https://www.rand.org/pubs/issue_papers/IP240.html.
Balkovich, Edward, Walter S. Baer, and Ben A. Vollaard, Research Topics for Informing Broadband Internet Policy, RAND Corporation, IP-240-OSTP, 2003. As of January 11, 2023: https://www.rand.org/pubs/issue_papers/IP240.html