IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

A need for speed? Rural Internet connectivity and the no access/dial-up/high-speed decision


  • Brian Whitacre
  • Bradford Mills


As residential high-speed Internet access has become more prevalent, the nature of the rural-urban digital divide in access has shifted. In 2000, dial-up access rates in rural households lagged behind their urban counterparts by 11 percentage points. By 2003, however, dial-up access rates were equal in rural and urban areas, but high-speed access rates were 14 percentage points higher in urban areas. This article uses a nested logit model to explore the household decision between no Internet access, dial-up access and high-speed access. A decomposition technique is then used to estimate the contributions of various factors, including education, income and infrastructure levels, to differences in Internet access among rural and urban households. The results suggest that policies which solely promote infrastructure in rural areas fail to address the dominant factors in the emerging high-speed digital divide.

Suggested Citation

  • Brian Whitacre & Bradford Mills, 2010. "A need for speed? Rural Internet connectivity and the no access/dial-up/high-speed decision," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(15), pages 1889-1905.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:42:y:2010:i:15:p:1889-1905
    DOI: 10.1080/00036840701749001

    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 search for a different version of it.

    More about this item


    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:taf:applec:v:42:y:2010:i:15:p:1889-1905. 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: (Chris Longhurst). 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.