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

See all articles by Richard Perkins

Richard Perkins

London School of Economics - Department of Geography and Environment

Eric Neumayer

London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

Date Written: May 10, 2009

Abstract

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

Perkins, Richard and Neumayer, Eric, Is the Internet Really New After All? The Determinants of Telecommunications Diffusion in Historical Perspective (May 10, 2009). Professional Geographer, Vol. 63, No. 1, pp. 55-72, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=968668

Richard Perkins (Contact Author)

London School of Economics - Department of Geography and Environment ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

Eric Neumayer

London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom
+44 207 955 7598 (Phone)
+44 207 955 7412 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://personal.lse.ac.uk/neumayer

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