Keywords: Broadband Networks; Regulation; Public Policies.
In this paper, we firstly revise the main technological solutions for ultra-fast broadband connections and summarize the main economic literature (both theoretical and empirical) on the role of regulation to support infrastructure investment in broadband networks in profitable areas. We then move to the core of our analysis, that is to assess the relative positioning of the Italian market today in terms of deployment and penetration of broadband access, and then analyse the main relevant policy issues involved in the current Italian plans for broadband deployment. Our goal is to propose a policy framework for fostering the deployment of the Italian ultra-fast broadband network and evaluate the Government master plan. The analysis will also give the opportunity to provide our contribution to the current debate and to suggest how industrial policies in a market-oriented perspective should be reconsidered.