Stories from Abroad

Since 2010, the Benton Foundation and the New America Foundation have partnered to highlight telecommunications debates from countries outside the U.S.

Private participation in government-led backbone network projects

This study presents an ex-post comparative assessment of the relative performance of three Latin American broadband network emblematic projects implemented through public-private projects (PPP). Results show that the relative performance of these projects is extremely sensitive to differences in contractual design and regulatory approaches applied in each case. The detailed examination and comparative analysis of these experiences allowed us to extract important lessons in terms of design and implementation of PPP in the telecommunications sector.

Journalism is under "digital siege"

The global climate for journalists has become more perilous as autocrats weaponize the media to consolidate power. Those efforts are increasingly being carried out through surveillance and digital attacks.

European telecom companies seek network investment from Big Tech and streamers

The European Union should make big tech and video streaming companies pay at least some of the estimated €28 billion they cost European telecom groups for their outsized use of network infrastructure, according to a new industry report. A small number of video, social media and tech companies — including Facebook owner Meta, Netflix and Amazon — account for more than 55 percent of all traffic on mobile and broadband networks, according to research commissioned by the European Telecommunications Network Operators’ Association and conducted by the consultancy firm Axon.

Rural broadband: Gaps, maps and challenges

This paper examines challenges to evidence-based decision-making in the design and implementation of rural broadband investment programs. Our focus is on Canada, and the apparent need for further intra-rural broadband research and better data and mapping for informing public investment decisions, but similar challenges are evident in the international literature.

Impact of high-speed broadband access on local establishment dynamics

The aim of this study is to examine the relationship between high-speed fibre broadband access and establishment dynamics at the municipality level. Special emphasis is placed on micro as well as on small and medium-sized establishments in contracting areas. Data cover information on 290 municipalities in Sweden for the period 2010–2018. Results of Fixed Effects and Spatial Durbin model estimations reveal a significant but rather small direct effect of lagged high-speed broadband access, driven by the micro establishments.

Blessing or curse? The effect of broadband Internet on China’s inter-city income inequality

The information and communication technology, represented by the broadband Internet, has made a profound impact on Chinese urban labor market.

Digital Services Act: Council and European Parliament provisional agreement for making the internet a safer space for European citizens

The European Council and the European Parliament reached a provisional political agreement on the Digital Services Act (DSA), a world first in the field of digital regulation. The DSA follows the principle that what is illegal offline must also be illegal online. It aims to protect the digital space against the spread of illegal content, and to ensure the protection of users’ fundamental rights. The DSA will apply to all online intermediaries providing services in the European Union.

Mobile phones, mobile Internet, and employment in Uganda

This research analyzes the relation between mobile phone use – mobile Internet in particular – and employment, self-employment and job regularity in Uganda. It finds no evidence of any positive impact of mobile Internet use on employment or job quality, suggesting that either respondents do not use mobile Internet for job search practices or as a job tool, or that these uses are ineffective.

Ukraine War Stokes Concerns in Taiwan Over Its Fragile Internet Links

The war in Ukraine is reviving concerns in Taiwan and some Asia-Pacific nations about the fragility of their internet connections because they rely on undersea cables that could be severed in a Chinese attack.

Facebook’s fibre optics in Nigerian state put Africa pivot in focus

When government officials in the southern Nigerian state of Edo set about radically improving poor internet access for its population of 4 million, they didn’t have to look far for help. MainOne, a company responsible for laying a vast network of fibre-optic cables across west Africa, was an obvious partner. Another, perhaps less obvious one, was Facebook. A joint agreement was signed to install fibre-optic cables running across the state’s capital, Benin City.