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The role of Innovation and Convergence in Complicating ICT Regulation - Essay Example

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This study discusses the role of innovation and convergence in complicating ICT regulation, alongside the strategies that could be successfully adopted to go about the problem. Then the study discusses effective regulatory strategies to tackle the complications. …
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The role of Innovation and Convergence in Complicating ICT Regulation
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"The role of Innovation and Convergence in Complicating ICT Regulation"

Download file to see previous pages The paper tells that the concept of regulation entails a number of aspects including; a specific set of commands; a deliberate influence by the state; and socio-economic influences, all of which influence social or economic behaviour. The authors further argue that although regulation mainly elicits the perception of restricting behaviour and preventive of certain activities, it can also be viewed as facilitative/enabling. For instance, regulation permits and controls the use of airwaves, allowing for broadcasting which would otherwise be chaotic. Borras properly captures the relationship between regulation and ICT through a discussion on standards and innovation. Standards determine the interchangeability and interconnectivity of products and thus the overall technological evolution of the industry. However, the ICT environment is heavily revolutionary in terms of technology and regulator standards find it difficult to always keep up. The regulation of ICT presents with a number of challenges arising several different perspectives and contested issues about how the regulators should go about it. Whereas issues of IPR dominate the cyberspace, other areas in the ICT industry provide an opportunity to limit regulation and promote competition. For instance, elements in network industry value chains involve retailing to end-users where competition is feasible and thus limit the need for regulation. However, the limits to competition among the players in the telecommunications industry are uncertain due the impact of technology. (Baldwin, Cave and Lodge 2010, p. 501). Here, innovation and convergence play an important role in complicating regulation of the ICT sector, calling for equally inventive and capable strategies to ensure proper and healthy regulation. Role of Innovation in Complicating ICT Regulation Innovation in the ICT industry occurs at a much faster pace and from many different angles than in most other sectors. As the Regulation Reform Unit (2010, p. 5-6) argues, regulatory activities and agencies have the challenge of reflecting technological changes and market developments in the ICT environment. Regulation of the ICT sector impinges on many different aspects including competition, interconnection, management of spectrum, authorisation and price controls among other aspects (ICT Regulation Toolkit 2012). Innovation impacts all of these aspects of ICT regulation in different ways but all centering on the rate at which innovation occurs. In terms of competition and price controls, the horizontal and vertical innovations witnessed everyday in the ICT sector challenge the traditional paradigm of regulation which embeds in the economic sense. Technological developments have implications on existing market structures at the overall economic level. A stable format of regulation seeking to stabilise the ICT sector would not hold in some sections as innovations render what is today valuable absolutely unimportant tomorrow. To keep up, the regulatory mechanisms have to evolve and develop new ways of regulating the newly formed ICT market structure. This may ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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