National information infrastructure



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NATIONAL INFORMATION INFRASTRUCTURE

Comparison of Visions and Realities

in France, Japan, Korea, Singapore and the United States

_______________________________

Kuk-Hwan Jeong

National Computerization Agency

&

Kenneth L. Kraemer



Center for Research on Information Technology and Organizations

University of California, Irvine

February 1996

This report presents the results of a study of National Information Infrastructure (NII) in five countries: France, Japan, Korea, Singapore and the United States. The study was conducted under the Collaborative Research Agreement between Korea’s National Computerization Agency(NCA) and University of California (Irvine)’s Center for Research on Information Technology and Organization (CRITO).

Participants of the joint research are as follows:

Kuk-Hwan Jeong (representing NCA, Korea)

Kenneth Kraemer (representing CRITO, USA)

Thierry Vedel (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, France)

Poh-Kam Wong (National University of Singapore)

Jason Dedrick (CRITO, USA)

John King (CRITO, USA)

Joel West (CRITO, USA)

On January, 25, 1996, with the country papers having been completed and read by all participants, the study group convened in Cambridge, Massachusetts for a one-day workshop with the aim of identifying key cross-cutting findings, conclusions and issues. The results of the workshop are reflected in Section III.

Each of the country case studies, except for the U.S., was also presented at the Symposium on National and International Initiatives for Information Infrastructure, held at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University on January 25-27, 1996. Each paper including the U.S. case is under revision to be published in a MIT Press book on the National Information Infrastructure. Each of the country case studies is also to be published in the journal, Information Infrastructure and Policy, over several issues.
CONTENTS

i. introduction 1

BACKGROUND 1

OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY 1

METHODOLOGY 3

FRAMEWORK FOR COMPARISON OF COUNTRY CASE STUDIES 5


ii. case studies in five countries 6

THE FRENCH POLICY FOR INFORMATION SUPERHIGHWAYS: THE END OF HIGH-TECH COLBERTISM? 7

Introduction 7

Background and Motivation: A Reactive Policy 7

A schedule linked to the international agenda for Information Superhighways 7

A policy mainly constrained by external factors 8

The trend toward telecommunications liberalization 9



Visions and Goals: Growth, Competitiveness, Employment 11

The European frame 11



The White paper on Growth, Competitiveness and Employment: The critical role of trans-European networks in the single market. 11

The Bangemann report on information society: “In the marketplace, we believe.” 12

The French vision 13



The Brenton report on teleservices: The impact of IS on employment 13

The Théry report on IS: Forward to the past? 13

Strategies and Policies for IS: From Dirigism to Pragmatism 15

The changing role of government 15

The launching of trials 17

France Télécom’s strategy: The end of the “grand project” model? 18


Cable operators’ strategies 20

Communication groups’ strategies 21



Broadcasters’ strategies 21

Publishing companies’ strategies 22

Institutional Structures for Coordination and Implementation: Between State and Market 22

Policy making and regulation for IS in France 22



Policy arenas and regulatory traditions 22

Major governmental players in policy making 23

Policy making and implementation of IS at the European level 25



The fragmentation of policy-making 25

Coordination within European industry or by industry? 26



NII Services—Present and Future: Is There Life After Minitel? 28

The state of Minitel 28



The Minitel industry 28

Uses, patterns and user profiles 29

The low penetration of the Internet and other on-line services 30

Lessons from stone-age telematics 31

Issues and Prospects for the Future 32

Which conduits carry information services? 32

What is the demand for information services? 32

The universal access issue 33

A lack of political and ethical vision 34


References 37

Tables and Figures 40

BACK TO THE FUTURE: JAPAN’S NII PLANS 47

Abstract 47

Introduction 47

Motivations: The Origins of Japan’s NII Plans 48

Joho-Ka: Creating the information society 48

Catching up with the U.S. 49

Producer motivations: Reviving Japan’s electronics industry 52



The Vision: An Information/Communications-Based Economy 53

Multimedia 54

Broadband, fiber-optic communications infrastructure 55

New hardware opportunities 56

Developing software and services capabilities 56

NII as a productivity tool for government and industry 57



NII Plans and Initiatives 58

MPT 58


MITI 59

NTT 60

The Reality: NII in the Japanese Context 61

Government vs. private roles 61

Supply-driven versus demand-driven 62

Bureaucratic rivalry 63

NTT’s central role and disputed future 65

An artificial schedule without financing 67

Limited user experience 69

Internet versus interactive TV: Which model? 70


Conclusions 71

References 73

Tables and Figures 78

KOREA’S NATIONAL INFORMATION INFRASTRUCTURE 81

Introduction 81

Economic Development Strategies 82

Review of the NBIS Project 84

Objective 85

Implementation 86

Evaluation 88

Existing Infrastructure and KII 89

Existing information infrastructure 89



Computers 89

Telecommunications 91

Multimedia 92

CATV 93

Internet 93

The KII plan 94



Korea’s vision in the 21st century and the NII 94

Strategies 94

NKN-G 95

NKN-P 95

Technology development and test-bed 96


Policy Issues 97

Demand-pull vs. supply-push 98

Technologies and standards 99

Network expansion 101

Application services 102

Legal structure 103

Costs and funding mechanisms 105

Coordination among the public and private sectors 105

Committee and the roles of governmental bodies 107

Economic benefits 108

International cooperation and APII 109

The KII’s Future 111

References 113

Tables and Figures 114

IMPLEMENTING THE NII VISION: SINGAPORE’S EXPERIENCE AND FUTURE CHALLENGES 123

Introduction 123

Background and motivations 124



Establishment of the National Computer Board 124

National IT Plan (NITP) 124

IT diffusion and industry development 125

Telecommunications and media industry development up to the early 1990s 127

New NII vision and goals 127


IT2000 vision plan 127

Strategies, policies and schedules for implementation 129



Overall implementation framework 129

Implementation and specific initiatives 130



NCB's evolving role 130

Telecommunications competition policy and network development strategies in the 1990s 133

Corporatization of national broadcasting authority 135

Cable TV 135

On-line information services and the Internet 136

Strategic response by the publishing media industry 137

Development of broadband network testbed 138

Promotion of Singapore as a regional telecommunications and broadcasting hub 138

Assessment of the Institutional structures for coordination and implementation 139

NII Services: Present and future 142

Present NII services 142

New NII applications in the pipeline 142

Issues and prospects for the future 143



Conclusion 145

References 147

Tables and Figures 149

ORDER WITHOUT DESIGN: NII IN THE UNITED STATES 158


Abstract 158

INTRODUCTION 159

The Importance of the NII Movement 160

An Approach to the Issues 161

MOBILIZING THE VISION 163

Forces of Technology 163

Competition in High Technology 163

The Information Economy 164



AN ARGUMENT OF DESIGN 165

The "Policy" View 165

Policy in Action 167

Telecommunications Reform 169



NOISE IN THE DESIGN 170

Government-Supported Pilot Projects and Testbeds 170

Private Sector Implementation 172

NII Services: Current and Future 172



ORDER WITHOUT DESIGN: CHANGING INSTITUTIONAL STRUCTURES FOR COMPETITION AND COOPERATION 174

Providers 174

Users of the NII 176

Regulators/Coordinators 177


TURBULENCE AND EVOLUTION OF THE NII 177

Competing Models of NII Service Provision 178

Evolution of Demand 179

Evolution of the Provider Base 180

Evolution of the Cost and Benefit Structure 181


CONCLUSION 182

REFERENCES 184

Tables and Figures 188

iii. cross-country comparisons: conclusions, issues and implications for others 197

MOTIVATIONS 197



Economic opportunity 197

Threat of economic imperialism 203

VISIONS 203

STRATEGY AND POLICY DESIGN 204

First mover strategy 204

Fast follower strategy 205

Competition strategy 205

Standard setting strategy 207

Policy design for NII 207

INSTITUTIONS AND COORDINATION 208



Markets versus hierarchies 208

Back to the future 209

IMPLEMENTATION PLANS 210



Technologies and timing 210

Models for NII development 211

NII SERVICES 211


NII services and user needs 211

REALITIES AND PROSPECTS 212


Implementation slowdown 212

Benefits and costs of NII 212

CONCLUSIONS 213



NATIONAL INFORMATION INFRASTRUCTURE

Comparison of Visions and Realities

in France, Japan, Korea, Singapore and the United States



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