The broadband Internet access market: The changing role of ISPs

Annemijn F. Van Gorp, Carleen F. Maitland, Heidemarie Hanekop

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have played an important role in the development of the broadband Internet access market. While many studies have described the nature of broadband availability and the effects of policy on availability, little has been written from the ISP perspective. Therefore, this study aims to examine both market and firm-specific influences that affect ISPs' offerings of broadband services. Included among the firm-specific variables is the concept of technological mediation, as introduced by Greenstein [(2001) Technological mediation and commercial development in the early Internet access market. California Management Review, 43(2), 75-94], which describes the behavior of ISPs in the market and how they bridge gaps between changing end-user needs and technological frontiers. Findings show that even though technological mediation activities occur, applying the concept to predict ISP strategy would likely result in overoptimistic expectations of ISPs' abilities to confront the next technological frontier. The study finds that ISPs' offerings of broadband services are more likely to be driven by competitive forces rather than by proactive strategies, as technological mediation would predict. Furthermore, these services are offered in a market where structure and policies support further encroachment by telephony and cable infrastructure providers into what was originally the ISPs' domain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)96-111
Number of pages16
JournalTelecommunications Policy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Information Systems
  • Communication
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Library and Information Sciences
  • Management Information Systems
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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