Superfast - Is it really worth a subsidy?

This paper by Robert Kenny and his brother Charles considers whether subsidies for superfast broadband (typically based on fibre-to-the-home) are justified. It takes a close look at the social and economic arguments for subsidies, and finds that they do not stand up to scrutiny.

The paper has attracted considerable attention, particularly in Australia, where the government is investing over A$50bn in rolling out fibre-to-the-home. It was cited in the House of Representatives and presented to MPs. Some of the reaction was favourable, some was not (a reply to the latter is here, on page 6).

An academic version of the paper was published in the journal info (Vol. 13 Iss: 4, pp.3 - 29). info were kind enough to name it their Paper of the Year.

In addition to the long-form report, there is also a shorter version.