Umair Haque / Bubblegeneration
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Design principles for 21st century companies, markets, and economies. Foreword by Gary Hamel. Coming January 4th. Pre-order at Amazon.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

The J neatly explains most of the drivers behind Korea's broadband explosion, and why we in the States (and Europe, and the rest of Asia, Africa, and Australia) got shafted. Yeah, you probably know this, but it's worth a quick review:

"...U.S. policies and outcomes are different. The 1996 Telecommunications Act set about to introduce local rivalry just as the Koreans were making their policy moves. But while the Act struck down state franchise phone monopolies, going to competition cold turkey was considered too harsh. Regulators attempted to ease the transition with ambitious network sharing mandates. These allowed entrants to use the existing phone network facilities at prices set by regulators. (The rules are typically referenced as "unbundling," as they allow new retail service competitors to use various pieces of an incumbent's network.) Determining these complicated terms and conditions has taken more than eight years. And in June, federal rules lapsed after being overturned by the courts, leaving the entire regulatory arrangement in limbo.

Korea avoided this path. KT's new rivals Hanaro and Thrunet (among others) were denied the opportunity to use KT's network to deliver signals the "last mile." They scrambled for efficient alternatives. By using fiber-optic capacity leased from a power company, cable TV lines, and new transmission facilities built from scratch, competing networks emerged and broadband services took off."

-- umair // 7:32 PM // 0 comments


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