IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Constructing the divide: Spatial disparities in broadband access


  • Tony H. Grubesic
  • Alan T. Murray


As residential broadband options such as cable and xDSL grow in popularity, broadband providers continue to roll out service in select market areas. However, due to technological limitations, some locations qualify for xDSL broadband service while others do not. The purpose of this article is to examine the impact of local geography on broadband (xDSL) network access. This type of micro-geographic analysis is important in two ways. First, a detailed analysis at the local level can reveal the spatial disparities in infrastructure access. Second, because broadband access is quickly emerging as the technology of choice for both small businesses and households, it is important to consider which locations will have opportunities for these connections and which locations will not. Utilising an integer programming model, the maximal covering location problem, and a geographic information system, xDSL broadband access is evaluated in Columbus, Ohio. Results indicate that many suburban areas can be left without adequate service. Copyright Regional Science Association International (RSAI) Urbana, USA 2002

Suggested Citation

  • Tony H. Grubesic & Alan T. Murray, 2002. "Constructing the divide: Spatial disparities in broadband access," Review of Economic Design, Springer;Society for Economic Design, vol. 81(2), pages 197-221, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:reecde:v:81:y:2002:i:2:p:197-221
    DOI: 10.1007/s101100100096

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Lisa J. Dettling & Sarena Goodman & Jonathan Smith, 2018. "Every Little Bit Counts: The Impact of High-Speed Internet on the Transition to College," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 100(2), pages 260-273, May.
    2. Belloc, Filippo & Nicita, Antonio & Alessandra Rossi, Maria, 2012. "Whither policy design for broadband penetration? Evidence from 30 OECD countries," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 382-398.
    3. Mack, Elizabeth A. & Grubesic, Tony H., 2009. "Forecasting broadband provision," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 297-311, November.
    4. Alan Murray, 2010. "Advances in location modeling: GIS linkages and contributions," Journal of Geographical Systems, Springer, vol. 12(3), pages 335-354, September.
    5. Gunhak Lee & Morton E. O'Kelly, 2009. "Exploring Locational Equilibria In A Competitive Broadband Access Market: Theoretical Modeling Approach," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(5), pages 953-975.
    6. repec:eee:soceps:v:58:y:2017:i:c:p:51-62 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. repec:asg:wpaper:1025 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Anatoli Marantidou & Anastasios Michailidis & Afroditi Papadaki-Klavdianou, 2011. "Information and Communication technologies as agricultural extension tools," Scientific Bulletin - Economic Sciences, University of Pitesti, vol. 10(1), pages 114-125.
    9. repec:asg:wpaper:1019 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Grubesic, Tony H., 2006. "A spatial taxonomy of broadband regions in the United States," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 423-448, November.
    11. Elizabeth A. Mack & Tony H. Grubesic, 2009. "Broadband Provision And Firm Location In Ohio: An Exploratory Spatial Analysis," Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie, Royal Dutch Geographical Society KNAG, vol. 100(3), pages 298-315, July.
    12. Krzysztof Janc, 2015. "Geography of Hyperlinks-Spatial Dimensions of Local Government Websites," European Planning Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(5), pages 1019-1037, May.
    13. Rodriguez Cohard, Juan Carlos & Bernal Jurado, Enrique, 2002. "E-commerce and territorial development in the Objective-1 spanish regions," ERSA conference papers ersa02p326, European Regional Science Association.
    14. Mack, Elizabeth A. & Rey, Sergio J., 2014. "An econometric approach for evaluating the linkages between broadband and knowledge intensive firms," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 105-118.
    15. Filippo Belloc & Antonio Nicita & Maria Alessandra Rossi, 2009. "Whither Broadband Policy? In Search of Selective Intervention," Department of Economics University of Siena 567, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
    16. Elizabeth A. Mack & Luc Anselin & Tony H. Grubesic, 2011. "The importance of broadband provision to knowledge intensive firm location," Regional Science Policy & Practice, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(1), pages 17-35, March.
    17. Elizabeth A. Mack, 2014. "Broadband and knowledge intensive firm clusters: Essential link or auxiliary connection?," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 93(1), pages 3-29, March.
    18. Carthy, Philip & Lunn, Pete & Lyons, Sean, 2018. "Demographic variation in active consumer behaviour: Who searches most for retail broadband services?," MPRA Paper 90366, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    19. Filippo Belloc & Antonio Nicita & Maria Alessandra Rossi, 2011. "The Nature, Timing and Impact of Broadband Policies: a Panel Analysis of 30 OECD Countries," Department of Economics University of Siena 615, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
    20. Elizabeth A. Mack, 2015. "Variations in the Broadband-Business Connection across the Urban Hierarchy," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(3), pages 400-423, September.
    21. Shane Greenstein, 2006. "Innovation and the Evolution of Market Structure for Internet Access in the United States," Discussion Papers 05-018, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
    22. Gunhak Lee & Ningchuan Xiao, 2009. "Examining the tradeoff between residential broadband service coverage and network connectivity using a bi-objective facility location model," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 88(3), pages 547-562, August.

    More about this item


    JEL classification: O0; C0; Key words: Digital divide; internet; DSL; GIS; maximal covering location problem;

    JEL classification:

    • O0 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - General
    • C0 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - General


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spr:reecde:v:81:y:2002:i:2:p:197-221. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla) or (Rebekah McClure). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.