Network Industries and Public Policies: A Strategic Approach

Special Report: Network Planning: New Forms and Challenges in Planning Network Infrastructure
By Yves Crozet

Since the beginning of the 80’s, the political and economical worldwide conditions of the networks’ industries evolutions have been largely transformed (mainly by various forms of liberalisation). This paper demonstrates that economic theories do not tell how to chose between solutions: this choice is a political one. The French case, where that orientation took shape slowly during the 90’s, is a remarkable example. Since uncertainty and risks are the characteristics of the economies in which networks now have to evolve, a “strategic approach” becomes necessary in order to elaborate a public policy regarding networks. It requires that consistent objectives are displayed by public decision-makers.

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