Much of modern telecom regulation is about preventing the extension of market power for oligopolistic markets to relatively competitive markets. One method used to do this is bundling two products, one from the former and the other from the latter. Conventional antitrust envisaged both the products being sold for a price, or of one being given “free” with the other. In the case of the flurry of competition-law proceedings around Microsoft, one issue was the bundling of the Explorer browser (available for free download) with the Windows operating system. Finally the consumers are being given an explicit choice at the behest of the European Commission, and they are taking it.
We think a lot about network effects: the positive externalities caused by greater connectivity. A telephone network with 100 subscribers offers 99 calling opportunities whereas one with 10 subscribers offers only 9. That is why regulators had to fight so hard to ensure seamless interconnection that would give the subscribers on each network 109 calling opportunities and compel the operators to compete on some other aspect of service. Here below is a discussion of network effects in Face Book, that is among other things, causing us to place advertisements on it. For an individual member, the most powerful network effects may be indirect ones that come from the huge number of unknown other people in the Facebook world.
Broadband user testing is nothing new. Tools to measure the speed of a link were available even in pre-net days. Later, they became more user-friendly, more sophisticated and better looking. Today you can pick one from a gamut of tools to instantly find out the speed of your link. Then why AT-Tester?