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Working paper / Communications and Media

Geographic Access Rules and Investments

Author(s): BOURREAU Marc, CAMBINI Carlo, HOERNIG Steffen

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We analyze competition between vertically-integrated operators who build infrastructure and provide access in different geographical areas. Under full commitment, the regulator sets socially-optimal access rates that depend on the local degree of infrastructure competition. If he can only commit to implementing a single access price, the regulator can impose a uniform access price or deregulate access in competitive areas. While uniform access pricing leads to suboptimal investment, deregulation can spur investment. Still, deregulation is not an ideal solution to the commitment problem, as it tends to involve multiple and inefficient equilibria at the wholesale level, with either too little or too much investment.