Broadband networks and the services and applications that they support are increasingly becoming important to each country, and having a considerable impact on the economic growth, the global competitiveness and for its wealth. Hence, many nations in the world have prioritized to develop ICT in general and broadband services in particular. However, the development of ICT has also opened out new digital divides. There is not only the gap between urban and rural areas, but also the gap between the younger and the older generations, and the gap between the higher and the lower income users. Many nations have embarked on deploying universal service programs to close the digital divides.
The thesis aims to analyse universal service policies in Vietnam to explore approaches to reinforce universal service in Vietnam. The thesis based on four papers combined in this thesis to investigate the status quo and point out issues on universal service in Vietnam. By applying different theoretical perspectives that support to explain the Vietnamese circumstance under both social and market perspectives, and additionally a qualitative content analysis, the thesis provides the government with appropriate approaches.
The main findings of the thesis show that, the government should limit intervention into the administrative/regulatory regime and set up contractual relations based on a market regime to provide universal service. Introducing many regulations or intervening much into the administrative regime to deliver universal service means that the government uses much of public resources (like budget and human resources) leading to increasing transaction cost and influencing the efficiency of the universal service policies. Establishment of contractual relations will enable the implementation of the contracts between actors as well as increase the enforcement in providing universal service.
On the market perspective, the thesis suggests that the government should firstly encourage the participation of civil society and private sectors as well as aligning the interests of different actors in providing universal service. Secondly, the government should promote both supply and demand sides to enhance universal service. Both supply and demand side initiatives will complement each other to deliver universal service. Even though, in some later stages of the penetration of broadband or universal service, demand side initiatives appear to have a positive and statistically significant effect on the rate of broadband adoption higher than that exerted in the previous stages.
Date of defence: 2018.03.07
See his publications.