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Sophia Gaenssle: "Attention Economics of Instagram Stars: #Instafame and Sex Sells?"
Sophia Gaenssle (M.Sc.) is a junior researcher at the chair of Economic Theory at the Ilmenau University of Technology.
She specialises in media and cultural economics, with particular emphasis on industrial organisation and digital markets.
"When Does it Pay Off to Learn a New Skill? Revealing the Complementary Benefits of Cross-Skilling" by Fabian Stephany (Oxford Internet Institute)
Fabian is a Researcher in Computational Social Science at the OII, University of Oxford, a Research Affiliate at the Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society in Berlin and a Research Fellow at the Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital in Vienna. Fabian is interested in the application of computational social science in fields like digital skills, migration, innovation, and e-governance. With the iLabour project at the OII, he studies the global dynamics of Online Labour Markets.
Fabian holds a PhD and degrees in Economics and Social Sciences from different European institutions, including Universitá Bocconi Milan and University of Cambridge. As an Economist and Senior Data Scientist, Fabian has been working in the private sector and for various actors in the international policy landscape, such as the United Nations Development Programme, the World Bank or the OECD in Paris.
Symposium on the Web and Internet Policy
In case you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact us:
Dr. Volker Stocker
Prof. Georgios Smaragdakis (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Lilian Edwards (Newcastle University)
Nikos Laoutaris (IMDEA Networks)
Krishna Gummadi (Max Planck Institute for Software Systems)
William Lehr (MIT)
David D. Clark (MIT)
Scott Marcus (Bruegel)
Christopher Yoo (U Penn)
"Policy choices can help keep universal broadband targets affordable: A spatial model of 4G and 5G rollout in developing countries" by Edward Oughton (George Mason University / Oxford University)
In recognition of the transformative opportunities that broadband connectivity presents, the United Nations Broadband Commission has committed the international community to accelerate universal access across the developing world. However, the cost of meeting this objective, and the feasibility of doing so on a commercially viable basis, are not well understood. This paper compares the global cost-effectiveness of different infrastructure strategies for the developing world to achieve universal 4G or 5G mobile broadband. Utilizing remote sensing and geospatial infrastructure simulation, least-cost network designs are developed for eight representative low and middle-income countries (Malawi, Uganda, Kenya, Senegal, Pakistan, Albania, Peru and Mexico), the results from which form the basis for aggregation to the global level. To provide at least 2 Mbps per user, 4G is often the cheapest option, whereas a minimum 10 Mbps per user is cheapest with 5G non-standalone (NSA). The cost of meeting the UN Broadband Commission target of a minimum 10 Mbps per user is estimated at $1.4 trillion using 5G NSA, equating to approximately 0.5% of annual GDP for the developing world over the next decade.
However, by creating a favorable regulatory environment governments can bring down these costs by as much as three quarters – to $0.5 trillion (approximately 0.2% of annual GDP) – and avoid the need for public subsidy. Providing governments make judicious technology choices, while adopting fiscal and regulatory regimes conducive to lowering costs, broadband universal service may be within reach of most developing countries over the next decade. Edward Oughton (https://science.gmu.edu/directory/edw…) is known for developing decision-support models of digital infrastructure, having carried out 5G assessments for countries around the world. His work provides evidence on effective strategies to connect more people to a faster internet. Such information is vital for ensuring sustainable economic development as most new technologies require internet connectivity. The open-source 5G assessment software he has developed has been used to support national and international policy decisions.
The recorded talk by Edward Oughton
"The Lockdown Effect: Implications of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Internet Traffic” by Georgios Smaragdakis (TU Berlin)
Georgios Smaragdakis is a Professor with Technical University (TU) Berlin, heading the Chair of Internet Measurement and Analysis. He is also a research affiliate with Max Planck Institute for Informatics and a research collaborator with Akamai Technologies.
In the talk, he will present a recently published paper that appeared at ACM Internet Measurement Conference (https://conferences.sigcomm.org/imc/2020/) in which the authors examine the effect of the lockdowns on traffic shifts, by collecting and analyzing network data from a diverse set of vantage points (one ISP, three IXPs, and one metropolitan educational network).
The recorded talk by Georgios Smaragdakis (TU Berlin)
"Communication behaviour in Germany" by Serpil Taş (WIK)
Serpil Taş is a Senior Economist at the Wissenschaftliches Institut für Infrastruktur und Kommunikationsdienste (WIK). For more information about her research focus please visit her website at the WIK:
"Explaining Explanations in AI" by Leilani H. Gilpin (MIT)
Leilani H. Gilpin is a PhD. candidate in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in CSAIL. Her research focuses on the theories and methodologies towards monitoring, designing, and augmenting machines that can explain themselves for diagnosis, accountability, and liability.
Weizenbaum Symposium: "New Perspectives on the Digital Economy - Sharing, Gigs, and Platforms"
The one-day symposium will provide a novel venue for researchers across fields (e.g., economics, sociology, information systems, law, communication) to present their work on the digital economy and debate a wide array of issues in an international research environment.
Arto Lanamäki (University of Vaasa and Tallinn University)
Grant Blank (Oxford Internet Institute)
Jason Whalley (Northumbria University)
Anton Fedosov (University of Zurich)
Niels van Doorn (University of Amsterdam)
Gemma Newlands (University of Amsterdam and BI Norwegian Business School)
Mareike Möhlmann (Bentley University)
Bettina Berendt (Weizenbaum-Institute/TU Berlin/KU Leuven)
Aaron Kolleck (Weizenbaum-Institute/TU Berlin)
Heli Koski (Etla/Aalto University)
Sofia Ranchordas (University of Groningen)
Justus Haucap (DICE/HHU Düsseldorf)
Weizenbaum Colloquium: "An Ex-post Assessment of the Economic Benefits of High-Speed Broadband Coverage and Adoption: First Evidence from OECD Member States" by Dr. Wolfgang Briglauer
A broad-scale roll-out of new high-speed broadband infrastructure based on fiber-optical transmission technology is expected to generate innovative broadband services for consumers and to bring enormous potential for productivity increases and economic growth for the overall economy. In order to reach specified broadband targets regarding broadband coverage and service adoption and due to high expectations regarding future benefits of fiber-based broadband infrastructure, many local and national governments have already provided billions of Euros for public funding measures. However, there is hardly any evidence available on the causal impact of fiber-based broadband coverage on the supply side and adoption of services on the demand side on relevant economic outcome variables. Moreover, there is no study available so far that simultaneously considers the impact of fiber-based broadband coverage and adoption on economic performance using detailed data on fiber-based high-speed broadband connections. Both effects are, however, of crucial relevance in view of the dual broadband targets at national and supra-national level and related supply- and demand-side public policies.
In order to investigate these issues empirically, we employ comprehensive panel data for 34 OECD countries for the years from 2003-2018 and panel fixed effects and instrumental variables estimation techniques. In order to endogenize the investment and adoption decision, we define micro-models of both investment and adoption of fiber-based broadband to account for potential simultaneity underlying broadband investment and adoption on the one hand and GDP on the other hand.
"Data Portability in Digital Markets: Economic Implications and Policy Recommendations" by Jan Krämer
Jan Krämer is a Professor for Information Systems at the University of Passau, Germany, where he holds the Chair for Internet & Telecommunications Business and is the director of the Passau International Centre for Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies. He is also the Joint Academic Director at the Centre on Regulation in Europe (CERRE), a Brussels-based think tank.
In his talk, Jan Krämer will present a current view on the legal, technical and economic state of the discussion on personal data portability in the context of the digital economy. First, He will briefly lay out the legal framework for data portability in the EU, and highlight some ongoing technical projects in this domain. He will then focus mainly on the economic implications and economic research in this area with a particular emphasis on the role of Personal Information Management Systems (PIMS). He will conclude with some policy recommendation to make personal data portability more effective in the context of the digital economy.
The recorded talk by Jan Krämer
"Should everyone have access to broadband? Universal service in the United Kingdom" by Jason Whalley (Northumbria University)
Should everyone have access to broadband? With the growth of the digital economy, with its widespread socio-economic benefits, strong and persuasive arguments can be made for ensuring that everyone has access to broadband. But in many countries digital divides exist that limit who is able to go online and the benefits that can be achieved. While these digital divides are multi-faceted, if an individual or business is going to be online, they first of all need a connection. With the liberalisation of telecommunications markets, tensions around the provision of broadband in areas unattractive to commercial deployment have been heightened. Some of these areas may be too costly, due to their remoteness or low population densities, while other areas may be perceived as lacking demand.
Within the UK, variations in broadband infrastructure, coupled with its (perceived) slowness when it is available, were reflected in vocal campaigns and political interest. Those who did not have broadband wanted it, while those who had it wanted better quality connections. After much deliberation and posturing by political parties, the response in the UK has been to embark on a regulatory initiative: universal service. In essence, this specifies a basic level of service that anyone regardless of location should have access to. In this talk, the focus is on the evolution of this initiative, highlighting the challenges and tensions faced within the context of a dynamic market. The challenges of specifying an appropriate level of basic service will be illustrated, as will difficulties of determining who will pay for universal service. The talk draws on an ongoing body of work investigating the provision of broadband networks.
"New Paradigms for the Internet" by Robert Frankstone (IEEE CTSoc)
"Communications Policy Regulatory Reform for a Post-PSTN World" by William Lehr (MIT)
We are currently in the midst of a global transformation to a Digital Economy, yet National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs) such as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the U.S. and similar agencies in other countries are still operating under legacy telecommunications policies set in place to manage the Public Switched Telecommunications Network (PSTN). There is general agreement that new frameworks are needed to manage communications policy in the era of IP-based broadband access platforms and the Internet. In a series of papers over recent years, Dr. Lehr has worked with colleagues to highlight the challenges confronting regulatory reform efforts and worked toward proposals for what a appropriate communications policy for the new Digital Economy might look like. This is very much a work in progress.
"Internet of Things and the economics of operator platforms for smart networks" by Günter Knieps
Online platforms providing intermediation services (e.g. Amazon, eBay) are to be differentiated from operator platforms organizing the new innovative markets for intelligent network services. Of particular relevancy is the differentiation between the physical side of operator platforms as coordinators, aggregators and organizers of physical network services and its complementary virtual side based on real-time, adaptive and location-sensitive (big )data processing and transmission. Disruption of traditional network industries with the evolution towards smart network industries is concomitant with the emergence of innovative operator platforms providing a variety of innovative network services.
Challenging governance problems of contractual relationships among different actors arise. The problem solution competence of operator platforms (two-sided, multi-sided) is the entrepreneurial search for the required governance structures. The problem of division of labor between all-IP broadband network providers, virtual network service providers and platform operators arises concomitant with the implementation of adequate governance structures.
"The economics of infrastructure sharing in 5G networks" by Professor Zoraida Frías (UPM)
Unlike previous mobile technologies, 5G has been designed to enable a general-purpose digital platform that can serve different vertical industries, such as healthcare, energy, or automotive. This idea implies a new sharing paradigm for network resources, deviating from the approach taken so far. Previous generations have served with limited success the connectivity needs of these industries with a simple reason: the requirement on dedicated infrastructure has made extremely difficult building a business case, since the network that would be deployed for each of the verticals would be unoccupied most of the time.
What makes 5G technologically and economically different is the approach towards an increased degree of network resource sharing through two key underlying technologies: Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) and Software Defined Networks (SDN). These technologies will deliver smart, flexible, and scalable networks that can be used – and priced – on demand. In her talk, Zoraida Frías will examine the ramifications of this flexibility to expediting digital transformation through new business models where 5G networks can be provided “as a service”.