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Bits of power : the involvement of municipal electric utilities in broadband services

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dc.contributor.advisor Sharon Eisner Gillett and William H. Lehr. en_US Osorio Urzúa, Carlos A. (Carlos Alberto), 1968- en_US
dc.contributor.other Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Technology and Policy Program. en_US 2005-09-06T21:20:17Z 2005-09-06T21:20:17Z 2004 en_US 2004 en_US
dc.description Thesis (S.M.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Engineering Systems Division, Technology and Policy Program, 2004. en_US
dc.description Includes bibliographical references (leaves 99-105). en_US
dc.description.abstract Municipal electric utilities have been increasingly involved in telecommunications during the last decade. This research investigates why, with three hypotheses. First, the probability of MEUs involvement in telecommunications responds to technology-based economies of scope from internal services deployed to support their power business. Second, MEUs' likelihood for offering telecommunication services decreases in presence of restrictive regulatory framework and low levels of local discretionary authority (LDA). Third, MEUs involvement in telecommunications decreases in the presence of competitive alternatives. The hypotheses are tested using quantitative response models, controlling for deployment cost and demographic characteristics. Results confirm the existence of a technology-push generated by economies of scope between internal services supporting the power business and offering external telecommunication services. One reason for this, as qualitative analysis supports, would be the uniqueness of MEU communities as resulting from historical and technological path-dependence, which makes the MEU phenomenon unlikely to be repeated by local governments in non-MEU communities. Additionally, results support that MEUs' likelihood for offering telecommunication services is reduced by regulations explicitly prohibiting it, but shows that low LDA, as measured by Dillon's Rule, does not have a significant effect. Results show a complex effect for competition. MEUs likelihood for offering telecom services in residential markets decreases with cable modem competition, but their activity in business market increases with competition from DSL. This suggests that MEUs' services substitute for cable television companies', but are non-redundant en_US
dc.description.abstract (cont.) relative to telephone companies. Results support the need for further research, especially in competition and deployment dynamics and their effects. Based on these results, the recent US Supreme Court decision on Nixon vs. Missouri Municipal League and stakeholder analysis suggest various policy implications. First, APPA and MEUs need to build a broader coalition for active lobbying the US Congress for clarification on Section 253(a) of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, and states' legislatures for passing explicit authorizations for MEUs' involvement in telecommunications. Second, states and MEUs need to assess how banning MEUs from telecommunications would affect the reliability of power distribution and underserved areas. Finally, states, MEUs and private parties would need to better understand, evaluate and innovate in policies and public-private collaborative initiatives for taking advantage of the mutual potential benefits existing between power distribution and telecommunication services. en_US
dc.description.statementofresponsibility by Carlos A. Osorio Urzúa. en_US
dc.format.extent 110 leaves en_US
dc.format.extent 8126159 bytes
dc.format.extent 8139324 bytes
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language.iso en_US
dc.publisher Massachusetts Institute of Technology en_US
dc.rights M.I.T. theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission. See provided URL for inquiries about permission. en_US
dc.subject Technology and Policy Program. en_US
dc.title Bits of power : the involvement of municipal electric utilities in broadband services en_US
dc.title.alternative Involvement of municipal electric utilities in broadband services en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US S.M. en_US
dc.contributor.department Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Technology and Policy Program. en_US
dc.identifier.oclc 56749097 en_US

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