OECD Digital Economy Papers

The OECD Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) undertakes a wide range of activities to better understand how information and communication technologies (ICTs) contribute to sustainable economic growth and social well-being. The OECD Digital Economy Papers series covers a broad range of ICT-related issues and makes selected studies available to a wider readership. They include policy reports, which are officially declassified by an OECD Committee, and occasional working papers, which are meant to share early knowledge.

English, French

The effects of zero rating

This report analyses the effects of zero rating, i.e. when a predetermined type of traffic received by consumers is not counted against the download allowance of the Internet access service. The report looks at the economics of zero rating and issues such as the effects of zero rating on competition and innovation. It also compares regulatory approaches across several countries. In terms of economics, the welfare effects of zero rating on consumers can be favourable or unfavourable. While case by case analyses are almost indispensable, the different approaches which regulators and policy makers around the world are taking to zero rating exhibits substantial variation. Nevertheless, it is desirable that regulators and policy makers are alive to both the benefits and the risks associated with zero rating practices, and that in deciding their approach they have regard to the level of competition in both content and ISP markets.


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