Kolko, Jed (2006): Why Should Governments Support Broadband Adoption?
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Governments justify support of Internet diffusion on two grounds: (1) to overcome a persistent digital divide in broadband availability and (2) to facilitate online activities that are socially or economically desirable. This paper assesses both these claims. Using individual-level data from Forrester Research, the analysis finds significantly lower residential broadband adoption in lower-income and lower-density zip codes, controlling for individual characteristics. Further tests show that lower adoption in these areas is evidence of a persistent digital divide in availability. The analysis then assesses how broadband adoption changes individuals’ usage of online activities. Broadband adoption increases individuals’ frequency of researching health information online, but there is no evidence that broadband adoption increases usage of online job sites or online government services. Localities currently considering municipal wireless (Wi-Fi) initiatives should focus on digital divide justifications rather than expecting to raise usage of a wide range of online activities perceived to be socially desirable.
|Item Type:||MPRA Paper|
|Institution:||Public Policy Institute of California|
|Original Title:||Why Should Governments Support Broadband Adoption?|
|Keywords:||broadband; Internet; digital divide; online; consumer behavior|
|Subjects:||L - Industrial Organization > L9 - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities > L96 - Telecommunications
D - Microeconomics > D1 - Household Behavior and Family Economics > D12 - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O3 - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights > O33 - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
|Depositing User:||Jed Kolko|
|Date Deposited:||01. Jun 2007|
|Last Modified:||17. Feb 2013 08:36|