fair cost recovery

Strand Consult’s Global Research Project for Broadband Cost Recovery, Affordability, and Fair Share

Broadband Cost Recovery is a rational, linear process to recoup costs to build and run networks with an accurate accounting, assessment, and attribution of value. It encompasses the business models and policies to recoup costs and improve affordability by increasing the base of financial contributions.

For more than 25 years, Strand Consult has researched and published reports and analyses on the economics of telecommunications networks. We have chronicled the rise and evolution of network technologies, their business models and regulation. Strand Consult studies these challenges around the world and assembles this information to make a global picture for its readers.

While policymakers recognize the digital divide, Covid-19 galvanized the effort to address it. The 2021 report by the ITU and UNESCO ,“21st Century Financing Models for Bridging Broadband Connectivity Gaps” observes an global gap of USD $2 trillion in broadband network investment. Global internet adoption has stalled at half of the world’s population for lack of access and affordability. The report calls for a modernization of broadband policy and financing which incorporates financial contributions from the largest technology companies in a sustainable, predictable and efficient way.

Strand Consult launched its Global Project for Broadband Cost Recovery to inform the policy development with evidence-based assessments, policy research, and transparency efforts. This information helps operators and policymakers understand the problem at local and global levels and compare the pros and cons of different policy solutions.

Strand Consult’s Global Project for Broadband Cost Recovery focuses on the following four elements:

  1. Accounting. Documenting network traffic and cost and the process to recoup expense of building/running broadband network with accurate assessment and attribution.
  2. Access. Defining the network requirements so that all can get access to healthcare, employment, education, and other essential social benefit services.
  3. Affordability. Designing the policy to make broadband provision more equitable financially. Ensuring the freedom and flexibility to provide broadband offers which are relevant and tailored to subscribers’ needs, particularly for the disadvantaged.
  4. Augmentation. Strengthening the access and affordability to broadband through business models which incorporate contributions from the largest users and financial beneficiaries of broadband networks, the set of dominant information technology platforms.

Effective broadband policy ensures that all people can access the internet and that networks evolve to serve a wide range of services. Most people in the developed world can access a basic set of internet services, but it is not optimal. The Covid pandemic increased the urgency for universal broadband as people had to learn, work, and receive healthcare from home. More largely, the internet increasingly drives the economy and productivity and is becoming the key medium for the delivery of government services. Ensuring essential social benefit services online may be frustrated by the proliferation of video streaming.

Strand Consult’s Global Project for Broadband Cost Recovery provides a library of valuable reports and research notes as well as education and training for policymakers about this critical challenge and opportunity.

Contact Strand Consult to learn more.