Austria 2025 – Leverages to Promote Broadband Infrastructure

This study discusses policy options to stimulate investments into Austria's broadband infrastructure, which have been found to be only moderate in international comparisons. The advent of new transmission technologies (next generation access) aggravates trade-offs which are inherent to the liberalisation. These refer to investment and innovation incentives on the one hand and low consumer prices of broadband services on the other hand. While Austria's policy debates increasingly address the low investment rates, strategic decisions about the sector's organisation are largely pending. In the short run, these concern the regulatory approach and to a lesser degree the subsidy policy. In the long term, the general organisation of the sector should be clarified. Policy makers should choose between a state-driven, interventionist model and a private-sector driven model. The currently pursued hybrid approach seems to produce suboptimal outcomes.