ERIC Number: EJ923261
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Apr
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
Exploring Geographic Disparities in Broadband Access and Use in Rural Southern Illinois: Who's Being Left behind?
Oyana, Tonny J.
Government Information Quarterly, v28 n2 p252-261 Apr 2011
Recent literature about broadband telecommunications reveals two major areas that are not only globally gaining prominence, but are also demanding urgent attention from a research perspective. One of the key areas is related to the need to spatially evaluate the availability and deployment of broadband services, especially among urban versus rural communities. Another area of interest falls under the need for enabling broadband policies and strategies that address existing geographic disparities. These motivating factors shaped this research and provided a basis for defining three specific objectives, namely: (1) to identify locations with or without broadband access, (2) to identify underserved rural and inner-city markets, and (3) to determine whether university and community college towns can be used in the adoption and dispersion of broadband technologies in southern Illinois. Supply-side and demand-side data were collected and inputted into a Geographic Information System (GIS). Supply-side data included cable modem, digital subscriber lines (DSL), wireless, and fiber optic lines, while demand data included reported broadband requests from individuals without access (n = 439), students (n = 45,866), and higher education workforce (n = 5419). Using the GIS and statistical techniques, insightful maps of broadband infrastructure were created to illustrate areas of supply and demand so that governments and businesses can address existing gaps in consumer needs. Specifically, different levels of broadband access and use were mapped; different under-served rural and inner-city markets were identified so as to emphasize the dramatic economic impact on the business opportunities available to small business entrepreneurs. Also, different geographies of use and accessibility of broadband connectivity in the study region were synthesized to support decision-making. The resulting maps provided supply and demand marketing intelligence based on the geographic analyses of residential and enterprise sectors. These data can be used as a model to develop specific policy recommendations for a knowledge-based economy, specifically for the southern Illinois region or other rural communities in the United States.
Descriptors: Rural Areas, Urban Areas, Telecommunications, Internet, Access to Computers, Disadvantaged, Geographic Location, Supply and Demand, Economic Impact, Small Businesses, Maps, Universities, Community Colleges
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Illinois