Is the Internet Really New After All? The Determinants of Telecommunications Diffusion in Historical Perspective
Professional Geographer, Vol. 63, No. 1, pp. 55-72, 2011
40 Pages Posted: 10 Mar 2007 Last revised: 29 Jul 2012
Date Written: May 10, 2009
Recent anxieties over the digital divide have centered on the observation that uptake of the internet is shaped by a number of identifiable, place-based factors. Yet is the internet any more a product of material geography than previous communication technologies? Our contribution in the present article seeks to address this question by deploying quantitative techniques to examine whether the country-level adoption of past communication networks – mail, telegrams and telephone – was shaped by similar socioeconomic factors. Our results reveal striking similarities in the domestic attributes – income, education and trade openness – influencing rates of uptake across all four technologies during their major periods of diffusion.
Keywords: Global, Internet, econometric, digital divide, telecommunications, territorial
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation