The Role of Innovation and Convergence in Complicating ICT Regulation

The Role of Innovation and Convergence in Complicating ICT Regulation Essay example
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Introduction The regulation of ICT is a hotbed of wild debates and controversies, misconceptions and uncertainties as summarised by the recent happenings in regards to SOPA/PIPA regulation bills. Such a situation arises due to the different nature of ICT from the traditional market; conventional strategies of market regulation are inconsistent when applied to ICT.


This study discusses the role of innovation and convergence in complicating ICT regulation, alongside the strategies that could be successfully adopted to go about the problem. Background: Regulation and ICT According to Baldwin, Cave and Lodge (2012, p. 2-3), the concept of regulation entails a number of aspects including; a specific set of commands; a deliberate influence by the state; and socio-economic influences, all of which influence social or economic behaviour. The authors further argue that although regulation mainly elicits the perception of restricting behaviour and preventive of certain activities, it can also be viewed as facilitative/enabling. For instance, regulation permits and controls the use of airwaves, allowing for broadcasting which would otherwise be chaotic. Borras (2003, p. 142) properly captures the relationship between regulation and ICT through a discussion on standards and innovation. Standards determine the interchangeability and interconnectivity of products and thus the overall technological evolution of the industry. However, the ICT environment is heavily revolutionary in terms of technology and regulator standards find it difficult to always keep up. ...
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