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Is the internet really new after all?: the determinants of telecommunications diffusion in historical perspective

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telecommunications diffusion in historical perspective

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Recent anxieties over the digital divide have centered on the observation that uptake of the Internet is shaped by a number of identifiable, place-based factors. Yet is the Internet any more a product of material geography than previous communication technologies? Our contribution in this article seeks to address this question by deploying quantitative techniques to examine whether the country-level adoption of past communication networks—mail, telegrams, and telephone—was shaped by similar socioeconomic factors. Our results reveal striking similarities in the domestic attributes—income, education, and trade openness—influencing rates of uptake across all four technologies during their major periods of diffusion. © 2011 by Association of American Geographers.

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en

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/30800/

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