Building and Delivering the Virtual World: Commercializing Services for Internet Access

40 Pages Posted: 17 May 2000 Last revised: 17 Oct 2010

See all articles by Shane M. Greenstein

Shane M. Greenstein

Harvard University - Technology & Operations Management Unit; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: May 2000

Abstract

This study analyzes the service offerings of Internet Service Providers (ISPs), the commercial suppliers of Internet access in the United States. It presents data on the services of 2089 ISPs in the summer of 1998. By this time, the Internet access industry had undergone its first wave of entry and many ISPs had begun to offer services other than basic access. This paper develops an Internet access industry product code which classifies these services. Significant heterogeneity across ISPs is found in the propensity to offer these services, a pattern with an unconditional urban/rural difference. Most of the explained variance in behavior arises from firm-specific factors, with only weak evidence of location-specific factors for some services. These findings provide a window to the variety of approaches taken to build viable businesses organizations, a vital structural feature of this young market.

Suggested Citation

Greenstein, Shane M., Building and Delivering the Virtual World: Commercializing Services for Internet Access (May 2000). NBER Working Paper No. w7690. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=228983

Shane M. Greenstein (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Technology & Operations Management Unit ( email )

Boston, MA 02163
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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