OEA Working Paper 49
This working paper analyzes the differences in fixed terrestrial broadband subscription rates across occupants of multi-tenant environments and non-MTEs, as well as the effects of mandatory access laws.
Abstract: We use individual-level Census data to analyze the differences in fixed terrestrial broadband subscription rates across occupants of Multi-Tenant Environments (MTEs) and non-MTEs. We find that residential occupants of MTEs are on average slightly less likely to obtain a wireline broadband subscription than residential occupants of non-MTEs. We also evaluate the effect of state mandatory access laws on broadband subscription rates. We find that the presence of a mandatory access law is on average associated with a higher rate of terrestrial fixed broadband subscription for residential occupants of MTEs and non-MTEs. Our estimates suggest that the presence of a mandatory access law increases residential fixed terrestrial broadband subscription rates by 1.8 percentage points in MTEs after removing any potential correlation between a household's residential and broadband access choices. This finding indicates that mandatory access laws are associated, on average, with a modest increase in the supply of broadband in MTEs. We hypothesize that this increase in subscription rates may be a result of a reduction in the marginal, or fixed, cost of supplying broadband or the result of increased consumer choices.