Mapping and Measuring the Information Society: A Social Science Perspective on the Opportunities, Problems and Prospects of Broadband Internet Data in the United States

The Information Society, 35:2, 57-68, DOI: 10.1080/01972243.2019.1574526

23 Pages Posted: 4 Mar 2019 Last revised: 25 Apr 2019

See all articles by Elizabeth Mack

Elizabeth Mack

Michigan State University Department of Geography

William H. Dutton

University of Southern California; GCSCC Computer Science University of Oxford

RV Rikard

Michigan State University - Department of Telecommunication

Aleksandr Yankelevich

Federal Communications Commission

Date Written: March 25, 2019

Abstract

There are concerns across government, industry, and academia over the adequacy of data about broadband Internet connections. Due to the uneven availability and adoption of broadband, these inadequacies are important to consider because government policy and regulation, industry and business strategies, and scholarly research can be impacted by inaccurate or distorted data. Provided that conversations about the problems and prospects of mapping and measuring the Internet feed into continuing discussions of policy initiatives to improve these data, this article sets out to critically review publicly available data, identify important limitations of these data, and profile research that have used these data successfully. In this review, the dynamic nature of broadband data will be discussed and the tradeoffs of pursuing further investments to create better databases evaluated. This evaluation suggests a more fruitful research path would be to recognize and work around existing data drawbacks, using the studies profiled in this paper, to explore a multitude of topics related to broadband availability, adoption and use.

Keywords: Broadband, Adoption, Internet Use, Form 477, Digital Divide

Suggested Citation

Mack, Elizabeth and Dutton, William H. and Rikard, RV and Yankelevich, Aleksandr, Mapping and Measuring the Information Society: A Social Science Perspective on the Opportunities, Problems and Prospects of Broadband Internet Data in the United States (March 25, 2019). The Information Society, 35:2, 57-68, DOI: 10.1080/01972243.2019.1574526, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3333292 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3333292

Elizabeth Mack

Michigan State University Department of Geography ( email )

East Lansing, MI 48824
United States

William H. Dutton

University of Southern California ( email )

3502 Watt Way #304
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

GCSCC Computer Science University of Oxford ( email )

Department of Computer Science
Robert Hooke Bldg 010
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 3PR
United Kingdom

RV Rikard

Michigan State University - Department of Telecommunication ( email )

409 Communication Arts & Sciences Building
East Lansing, MI 48824-1212
United States

Aleksandr Yankelevich (Contact Author)

Federal Communications Commission ( email )

445 12th Street SW
Rm. TW-B204
Washington, DC 20554
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://aleksyankelevich.com/

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