Toshiya Jitsuz umi is Professor at the Faculty of Policy Studies, Chuo University, Tokyo, Japan. He holds an LLB
from the University of Tokyo, an MBA from the Stern School of Business, New York University, and a DSc from the
Graduate School of Global Information and Telecommunication Studies, Waseda University. Before joining Chuo
University, he was a professor at the Faculty of Economics, Kyushu University. Previously, he worked for 18 years at
the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications (now Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications [MIC]), Japan.
During 2007- 2008, he was a visiting scholar at the Columbia Institute for Tele- Information, Columbia University, as
an Abe Fellow sponsored by the Social Science Research Council/Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership.
His research interests include telecommunications/Internet policy, and current focus is on net neutrality and platform
regulation. He has been a member of MIC’S committees on AI network. He served as a vice- chair of OECD Working
Party on Measurement and Analysis of the Digital Economy in 2017, and as a vice- chair of the OECD Committee on
Digital Economy Policy from 2018 to 2019.
[Purpose] The broadband network is widely recognized as a prerequisite for a nation ' s competitiveness and an indispensable component of everyday life. By comparing competitive frameworks for broadband services and stakeholders' harmonization procedures for operating broadband infrastructures in the United States, the European Union (EU), Thailand, and Japan, I aim to find an optimal policy mix for broadband infrastructure development . The primary question is "how do stakeholders reconcile efficiency and fairness in broadband network building?" The answer to this question will cover "competition neutrality, " "technology neutrality, " and "network neutrality ." [Issues] As IT-based technologies develop and require more network bandwidth and capacity, a policy concern for the rapid development of broadband networks has emerged . If telecom authorities focus primarily on this, however, it could seriously damage "competition neutrality ." In addition, when a government is deeply involved in developing a certain network that uses a specific technology, it will damage "technology neutrality ." Moreover, if telecom operators set a premium charge for bandwidth-intensive users, it will affect "network neutrality." Policymakers must find a proper balance between these neutralities and a proposed broadband development policy . [Significance] The outcome of this project will be a significant contribution to national policy making on various levels. It will provide rapid impact insights for immediate policy making in the telecom arena, such as: revision of the telecommunications business law in Japan (expected in 2010), reorganization of the NTT groups (expected in 2010), and design of a broadband development policy for developing countries. In addition, the project will serve as a useful guide in developing other types of communication networks and in adopting new technologies in other industries. In a broader perspective, this project has an economic and social significance, which may solve the international disparity of telecom service availability, or"digital-divide, " and then the resulting socioeconomic inequality among nations. [Timing] The timing is ideal for me to start this research next year. By late 2005, network neutrality regulations were included in several U.S. Congressional draft bills as a part of ongoing discussions or debates to reform the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Although the EU thus far seems to be neutral on the network neutrality issue, some telecom operators in the EU have expressed disapproving views. Thailand is currently going through a comprehensive telecom reform, which determines a competitive condition in the Thai telecom market. Finally, Japan's current regulatory framework of the telecom sector is set to be revised in 2010. [Research Methodology] The reconciliation process that takes place among stakeholders before a final conclusion is reached will be observed and the outcome will be analyzed. As harmonizing processes among stakeholders vary in each country, a comparative study in the United States, the EU, Thailand, and Japan is essential. Necessary arrangements for these surveys will be prepared with the cooperation of Research Institute of Telecommunications and Economics and my former colleagues at the Ministry of International Affairs and Communication.