Wharton Research Scholars Journal

Document Type

Working Paper

Date of this Version

2011

Abstract

Increasing broadband network diffusion to reach all American homes at higher speeds than currently offered has become a national priority. The National Broadband Plan represents a response to the growing sentiment among policy makers that the United States’ lag behind other peer OECD countries is a source of embarrassment. With the highest FCC estimates for the Plan reaching close to $350 billion, it is clear that now more than ever policy makers need specific recommendations supported by actionable research. Current academic literature is largely descriptive in exploring areas of under-provision within certain demographic groups, the so-called ‘digital divide,’ and has not yet provided a satisfactory casual answer to the problem of broadband under-provision. We attempt to fill in this void by answering the question “What roles do technology, demography, and market structure play in levels of broadband service provision?” Employing multivariate statistical analyses, this paper examines census tract-level data recently released as part of the National Broadband Map. Ultimately, these analyses provide recommendations for how the US government can direct its efforts to attempt to increase broadband service provision across the country.

Keywords

technology, broadband service, US, FCC

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Date Posted: 29 November 2011