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Building and Delivering the Virtual World: Commercializing Services for Internet Access

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  • Shane Greenstein

Abstract

This study analyzes the service offerings of Internet Service Providers (ISPs), the commercial suppliers of Internet access in the United States. It presents data on the services of 2089 ISPs in the summer of 1998. By this time, the Internet access industry had undergone its first wave of entry and many ISPs had begun to offer services other than basic access. This paper develops an Internet access industry product code which classifies these services. Significant heterogeneity across ISPs is found in the propensity to offer these services, a pattern with an unconditional urban/rural difference. Most of the explained variance in behavior arises from firm-specific factors, with only weak evidence of location-specific factors for some services. These findings provide a window to the variety of approaches taken to build viable businesses organizations, a vital structural feature of this young market.

Suggested Citation

  • Shane Greenstein, 2000. "Building and Delivering the Virtual World: Commercializing Services for Internet Access," NBER Working Papers 7690, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7690
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bresnahan, Timothy F. & Trajtenberg, M., 1995. "General purpose technologies 'Engines of growth'?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 83-108, January.
    2. Brynjolfsson, Erik. & Hitt, Lorin M., 1994. "Information technology as a factor of production : the role of differences among firms," Working papers 3715-94. CCSTR ; #173., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
    3. Susan Athey & Scott Stern, 1998. "An Empirical Framework for Testing Theories About Complimentarity in Organizational Design," NBER Working Papers 6600, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Demsetz, Harold, 1988. "The Theory of the Firm Revisited," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(1), pages 141-161, Spring.
    5. Shane M. Greenstein & Mercedes M. Lizardo & Pablo T. Spiller, 1997. "The Evolution of Advanced Large Scale Information Infrastructure in the United States," NBER Working Papers 5929, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Shane Greenstein, "undated". "Commercialization of the Internet: The Interaction of Public Policy and Private Choices," IPR working papers 00-11, Institute for Policy Resarch at Northwestern University.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Rajeev Goel & Edward Hsieh & Michael Nelson & Rati Ram, 2006. "Demand elasticities for Internet services," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(9), pages 975-980.
    2. SeungJae Shin & Martin B. Weiss & Jack Tucci, 2007. "Rural Internet access: over-subscription strategies, regulation and equilibrium," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(1), pages 1-12.
    3. Steve Thompson & Mike Wright, 2005. "Edith Penrose's contribution to economics and strategy: an overview," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(2), pages 57-66.
    4. Stenberg, Peter L., 2014. "The Farm Bill and Rural Economies: Broadband Investment Over the last Decade," 2014 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2014, Minneapolis, Minnesota 173277, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    5. Peter Stenberg, 2011. "Investment in Rural Broadband Technologies," ERSA conference papers ersa11p1028, European Regional Science Association.
    6. Angelique Augereau & Shane Greenstein & Marc Rysman, 2004. "Coordination vs. Differentiation in a Standards War: 56K Modems," NBER Working Papers 10334, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Sinai, Todd & Waldfogel, Joel, 2004. "Geography and the Internet: is the Internet a substitute or a complement for cities?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 1-24, July.
    8. 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.
    9. Stenberg, Peter L. & Morehart, Mitchell J. & Vogel, Stephen J. & Cromartie, John & Breneman, Vincent E. & Brown, Dennis M., 2009. "Broadband Internet's Value for Rural America," Economic Research Report 55944, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L86 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Information and Internet Services; Computer Software
    • C80 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - General

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