Measuring the economic and social impact of the Internet to inform policy making

07 November 2012 - A Workshop on Baku,Azerbaijan


The universal, transformational character of the Internet means that it affects the everyday activities of individuals, companies and governments in numerous ways and tends to produce broad, economy-wide effects. Policy makers are keenly aware of the Internet’s increasing economic importance but there is, as yet, no widely accepted methodology for assigning an economic or social value to the Internet economy.
Understanding the economic and social impact of the Internet is vital because policy makers look to broadband and mobile data networks as platforms for innovation and development, while governments increasingly fund broadband rollouts, either through direct public investment or via the modification of universal service programs, to extend access and achieve these goals. Quantifying the benefits of an open, flourishing Internet can help convince governments of the need to extend access and protect its functioning.
This workshop will discuss various approaches to evaluating the the Internet economy from and economic and social standpoint. These outcomes can help shape future data gathering and analysis by the OECD and other researchers.
Some potential discussion issues for the panel:

How can data from Internet exchanges can be leveraged to help measure the growth of the Internet
What priority should governments give to understanding the economic impacts of the Internet?
What are some of the Internet sources of data that could help us better understand the impact of the Internet throughout the economy?
Where are the most promising avenues for future research on economic impacts of the Internet?
As operators continue upgrading to higher-speed networks (e.g. fibre, high-speed wireless), are there incremental benefits that would not have been possible on older network infrastructure and how could the differences be measured?

Organiser(s) Name:
OECD will be responsible for the organization but will work closely with partners from industry, civil society and the Internet technical community.