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Title: Social value analysis and economic considerations relating to a national data network
Author: Keefer, T. A. J.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3596 2179
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 1970
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This thesis provides a new approach to both the forecasting of telecommunication development and to the assessment of its consequences; this enables a social value analysis to be undertaken, by which the significance of a new telecommunication system may be examined from several points of view. The research centred on proposals currently being studied for a national data network designed to replace existing inadequate data transmission facilities. A computerized analysis of the future growth of both numbers of data terminals and of the cost of a data network to carry these enables a preliminary decision analysis to be made; this indicates that an early introduction of a national data network would be favoured by all affected parties. Since the build-up of demand will be influenced by both costs and benefits, it is necessary to model benefits explicitly. By modelling general applications of a national data network, a methodology of considerable generality is developed for the quantitative assessment of benefits to the business community. Since the constraints of time, distance, and "physical being" bound the operational environment of an establishment, constraint reduction is. taken to be the essential benefit of national data network usage. Considering the most valuable constraint reduction to involve time, the value of time to an establishment is quantified in various modelled situations. Benefits are aggregated to give estimated limit lines of the total social benefit of national data network usage; the results obtained are coirparable to the macro-benefit derived using a simplified form of a dynamic input-output model. A preliminary social value analysis suggests that a national data network would involve a favourable use of national resources. A dynamic theory of demand for a national data network is also developed. Market saturation levels, particularly for the production and distribution sectors of the British economy, are first estimated. A theoretically derived general S-curve, which models the underlying value of data network usage and the possible mechanism of network build-up, is fitted to those and to current growth trend lines; a forecast of market growth over time is thus obtained. By attempting to "see into the minds" of rational decision- makers, this new approach assesses underlying demand rather than just expressed demand. The use of quantitative models throughout this development enables sensitivity analyses to be made; thus the results obtained are considerably more useful than are point- estimate forecasts. Since many consequences of a national data network cannot yet be quantified, a framework is provided within which social consequences may be qualitatively assessed. By analyzing interactions between various interest groups, a limited scenario of a possible future is obtained; it is suggested that the net effect of a national data network will be highly beneficial. Although a comprehensive social value analysis of the whole future of a national data network cannot yet be made, many of the component parts of such an analysis have been provided : these should be of considerable value in decision-making.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available