Information Economics and Policy vol:28 pages:39-56
This paper uses a rich survey of 6,446 households in Slovakia to estimate price elasticities of demand for Internet access, and draw implications for market definition. We estimate a mixed logit model, in which households choose between different broadband technologies: DSL, cable modem, fibre, WiFi and mobile. We find that a number of household characteristics influence the technology choices, and there is also significant unobserved heterogeneity. Demand for Internet access is highly price sensitive. The price elasticity of demand for DSL is -3.02, which falls in the middle of the range of elasticities for the other technologies. Furthermore, the price elasticity of demand at the level of all fixed broadband technologies (DSL+cable modem+fibre+WiFi) is equal to -1.98. For a reasonable range of profit margins, this estimate implies that mobile broadband should be included in the relevant antitrust market of fixed broadband. Our findings have implications for competition policy in Central and Eastern European countries where due to poor copper networks mobile broadband is an important alternative to fixed broadband.