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Universal Access and Local Commercial Internet Markets

Author

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  • Tom Downes

    ()

  • Shane Greenstein

    ()

Abstract

Concern over the potential need to redefine universal service to account for Internet-related services and other combinations of communication and computing motivates this study of the geographic spread of commercial Internet Service Providers (ISPs), the leading suppliers of Internet access in the United States. The paper characterizes the location of 40,000 access points, local phone numbers offered by commercial ISPs, in the Fall of 1997. Markets differ widely in their structure, from competitive to unserved. Over ninety-two percent of the U.S. population has easy access to a competitive commercial Internet access market, while approximately four and one-half percent of the U.S. population has costly access. Urban/rural coverage must be understood in the context of the different strategies of national/local providers.

Suggested Citation

  • Tom Downes & Shane Greenstein, 2000. "Universal Access and Local Commercial Internet Markets," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0017, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  • Handle: RePEc:tuf:tuftec:0017
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    File URL: http://ase.tufts.edu/econ/papers/200017.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Goolsbee, Austan & Klenow, Peter J, 2002. "Evidence on Learning and Network Externalities in the Diffusion of Home Computers," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 45(2), pages 317-343, October.
    2. Gregory L. Rosston, 2006. "The Rise and Fall of Third-party High-speed Access," Discussion Papers 05-019, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
    3. Shane Greenstein, 2008. "Economic Experiments and Neutrality in Internet Access," NBER Chapters,in: Innovation Policy and the Economy, Volume 8, pages 59-109 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Austan Goolsbee, 1998. "In a World Without Borders: The Impact of Taxes on Internet Commerce," NBER Working Papers 6863, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. 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.
    6. Rosston, Gregory L., 2009. "The rise and fall of third-party high-speed access," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 21-33, February.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L86 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Information and Internet Services; Computer Software
    • L96 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Telecommunications
    • L98 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Government Policy
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms

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