The development of effective and workable policy for the converged ICT sector has become a complex undertaking in recent times. We assist policy-makers to identify and understand the technical and market implications of alternative policy options. Our analysis and advice provides a solid foundation for achieving the aims of public policy.
Public safety mobile broadband network
For the Productivity Commission of Australia, we conducted a peer review of its economic analysis of a public safety mobile broadband (PSMB) network in Australia under various options, including the reservation of dedicated spectrum for that purpose. We found that the Commission’s methodology and assumptions were in general reasonable for Australian conditions, but recommended that some inputs be reviewed or assessed via sensitivity testing, in particular where information is uncertain due to the lack of PSMB applications and comparable networks.
Strategic framework for policy development
We devised a strategic issues framework for a Government Communications Ministry to increase its capacity to identify and analyse emerging issues and trends in the communications sector. The project included research on three key areas – communications technologies, consumer use of ICT and disruptive technologies – with the findings illustrated in a graphical model framework, and linked to the Ministry’s strategic priorities of infrastructure, market, productivity and capabilities.
Economic benefits of mobile broadband
On behalf of the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) we examined the role of the 2.5GHz spectrum band in the future deployment of mobile services in Australia. Our study encompassed both technology and market trends for mobile broadband services. We found that the economic benefits of mobile broadband will only be realised if there is sufficient spectrum capacity to meet the projected future demand.
We investigated the experiences of spectrum trading on behalf of the Australian Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (now the Department of Communications and the Arts). We explored the extent of trading activity, identifying potential barriers to trading and establishing opportunities for improving the current trading regime from a stakeholder perspective.
Pacific Regional Digital Strategy
On behalf of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, we reviewed the impact of the Pacific Regional Digital Strategy on ICT in the region. The study included detailed assessments of the current state of ICT capacity and usage in Pacific Island nations, and a review of the potential of ICTs to meet current and future socio-economic needs. We also investigated the current structure of partners and players in ICT in the region to determine competitive advantage, leverage, access to resources and potential modalities for delivering support to Pacific Island nations. A key study output was the identification of gaps and emerging needs. Our recommendations, based on gaps and emerging needs identified from our research, were used to assist in the development of an updated Digital Strategy.
Broadband take-up in New Zealand
For the New Zealand Ministry of Economic Development we investigated the current and likely future gap between the performance of New Zealand and the top quartile of the OECD in terms of broadband take-up and service provision. We examined underlying reasons for the gap, and presented future broadband scenarios, including analysis and forecasts.
Economic and commercial developments from Internet-based communications
For an Australian Government project on the future of the Internet we conducted research on economic and commercial developments of Internet-based communication, including new business models and distribution structures. The study was both evidence-based and forward-looking with the objective of informing policy development in a number of related economic areas including infrastructure, growth, research productivity and social wellbeing. We undertook a thorough investigation of factors that may assist or impede realisation of potential benefits from the Internet’s development, including spam, security and fraud, and content issues.
Telecoms policy in Kiribati
We provided advice and assistance with the development and implementation of a forward-looking telecoms sector policy, legal and regulatory framework, and action plan to increase telecoms coverage and access in Kiribati.