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As the Internet becomes more important to our everyday lives, commentators debate over the best policies and models to drive even more widespread adoption and deployment of broadband technologies. Some claim the European model of service-based competition, induced by stiff telephone-style regulation, outperforms the facilities-based competition practiced in the U.S. in promoting broadband. Data analyzed for this report reveals, however, that the U.S. led in many broadband metrics in 2011 and 2012.
Republic of Bulgaria as a Member State of the European Union embraces the strategic objectives of the Lisbon strategy – ‘to improve quality of life of it’s citizens by 2010, the European Union must become the most competitive and dynamic knowledge economy in the world, capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social integration. Citizens and businesses should have access to inexpensive communications infrastructure on a global level’.
Increasingly broadband connectivity is recognised as one of the basic instruments for enabling major improvements in economic and social wellbeing. Widespread, high-speed access can deliver significant increases in GDP, expand employment, increase international competitiveness and improve quality of life.
Broadband connectivity can also enhance community cohesion through novel and enhanced communications as well as deliver better choice and convenience for families and individuals in work and other aspects of daily life.
The aim of the National strategy for development of broadband in Republic of Bulgaria is to present a unified approach to the development of the broadband for the achievement of long-term strategic results. Broadband connectivity is a key component for the development, adoption and use of information and communication technologies (ICT) in the economy and in society.
National strategy for development of broadband access in Republic of Bulgaria is for the period 2007-2013.
Europe is trailing Japan, South-Korea and the USA in the deployment of very high speed broadband networks like FTTH and FTTB. Deployment and adoption over various European countries is however very uneven. The roll out of Next Generation Access networks in Bulgaria, a developing Eastern European nation, and the Netherlands, the current OECD Broadband penetration per capita leader, are compared at the national and subnational level. The case studies are based on data from surveying users, expert interviews and collected statistics. Both countries show the fastest deployment of new infrastructure occurs in areas where citizens (organize to) wire up their neighborhoods lead by (local) entrepreneurs who bypassed incumbents.
Footdragging incumbents induced entry by industry outsiders deploying new high bandwidth technologies in both countries, but very different institutional contexts strongly affected the market outcome. The case studies show which factors contributed to the current high ranking in international bandwidth performance indices of both countries. The study explains why Bulgaria today has 670 high - bandwidth service providers, while in the Netherlands FTTH roll out rapidly consolidated into the business of a few construction firms, real estate owners and pension funds who shifted the market from broadband services to selling (unbundled) fibre as the benchmark product.
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This report focuses on the development of backhaul and cross-border networks, which enable local networks to connect to the wider Internet. These local networks may cover a city, a region or even a country. To connect their networks to other networks around the world, operators need access to regional and international high-speed networks. The level of investment required in these networks varies and can be very different from region to region.