NERA Economic Consulting Study: 'Deregulation in European Broadband Markets' -- Broadband Means Growth

12 April 2006

LONDON, April 12/Deregulation of the DSL market could spur growth and boost employment. This is the conclusion of the latest study from NERA Economic Consulting, in conjunction with Mercer Management Consulting, entitled "Deregulation in Europe". The study shows the enormous economic impact of deregulation of the broadband market: in Germany alone, it could create 59,000 new jobs as well as boosting national income by 0.2% over each of the next three years.

Background
Deutsche Telekom is planning to upgrade its network to VDSL (Very high bit-rate Digital Subscriber Line) speeds which will allow Internet access to speeds of between 25 to 50 times faster than current ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) technology. The high speeds will enable new applications and services such as online sales, learning, Internet-based health services, TV, and games.

The German Federal Government and the German regulatory authority, the Federal Network Agency, want to postpone a decision on the necessary level of regulation until data on concrete experiences of the market and competitive structures are available for review. This stance conflicts with the European Commission's position that new broadband networks should be regulated from the start.

This is the context for the NERA / Mercer study, which summarises the current economic discussion on how effective regulation of broadband networks would be, and quantifies the advantages of less stringent regulation using four European countries as case studies.
Deregulation brings clear economic benefits
NERA found that the German broadband population could grow from 8 million in 2005 to 20 million in 2020. Deregulation of new and existing broadband networks could also create more than 59,000 jobs and boost annual GDP by 4.5 billion euros, or 0.2%, annually. The study found similar results could be expected from deregulation of broadband services in three other countries: the UK, Italy, and the Netherlands. Together, over 265,000 jobs could be created in these countries.

NERA Economic Consulting (www.nera.com), founded in 1961 as National Economic Research Associates, is a subsidiary of Mercer Specialty Consulting, an MMC company.

About NERA's Communications Practice
Our experts have an almost unrivalled knowledge of the economics of telecommunications markets and of the methods of regulation used by governments. Many have significant practical experience of working in the telecommunications industry and regulatory agencies. NERA's experts have developed sophisticated economic analysis, financial modelling, and survey techniques that help address important strategic, policy, and regulatory issues.

About NERA

NERA Economic Consulting (www.nera.com) is a global firm of experts dedicated to applying economic, finance, and quantitative principles to complex business and legal challenges. For over half a century, NERA's economists have been creating strategies, studies, reports, expert testimony, and policy recommendations for government authorities and the world's leading law firms and corporations. We bring academic rigor, objectivity, and real world industry experience to bear on issues arising from competition, regulation, public policy, strategy, finance, and litigation.

NERA's clients value our ability to apply and communicate state-of-the-art approaches clearly and convincingly, our commitment to deliver unbiased findings, and our reputation for quality and independence. Our clients rely on the integrity and skills of our unparalleled team of economists and other experts backed by the resources and reliability of one of the world's largest economic consultancies. With its main office in New York City, NERA serves clients from more than 25 offices across North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific.