Main content area

Internet Service Provision in the U.S. Counties: Is Spatial Pattern a Function of Demand?

Khatiwada, Lila K., Pigg, Kenneth E.
TheAmerican behavioral scientist 2010 v.53 no.9 pp. 1326-1343
Americans, Internet, models, rural areas, supply balance, United States
The Internet has become an important part of the daily lives of millions of Americans. Despite its importance, there is little empirical knowledge about the spatial pattern of Internet growth. Using the number of ISPs (Internet service providers) as an indicator of Internet diffusion and adoption, the authors attempt to understand the spatial pattern of Internet adoption and the factors responsible. Specifically, they seek to answer three research questions: Do U.S. counties exhibit differences in Internet adoption? If so, what is the pattern of adoption? and How do county-level socioeconomic and geographical factors affect the adoption of Internet services? For the spatial analysis, polygon pattern analysis is used to see the pattern of Internet adoption. Three spatial error models (for all counties, metro counties, and nonmetro counties) are used to investigate the relationship between various county-level demand indicators and Internet service status. The result shows that market demand is the driving force as counties that are more urban, have more educated people, more business establishments, and higher housing value also have higher ISP presence. This finding implies that the remote and rural areas will continue to suffer from poor Internet access.