دسترسی جهانی و بازارهای اینترنتی محلی در ایالات متحده
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Research Policy, Volume 31, Issue 7, September 2002, Pages 1035–1052
Concern over the potential need to redefine universal service to account for Internet-related services motivates this study of the geographic spread of commercial Internet service providers (ISPs), the leading suppliers of Internet access in the US. 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 92% of the US population has easy access to a competitive commercial Internet access market, while approximately 4.5% of the US population has costly access.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The commercial Internet access industry has an important geographic component which correlates with features of market structure, quality of service, pricing and competitiveness. As a result, most of the important issues in the universal access debate also have an important geographic component. The links between geographic coverage and market structure arise because an ISP, whether it is national, regional or local, simultaneously chooses several important dimensions of firm strategy, including the geographic coverage of the firm. These choices involve many tradeoffs between the costs of providing a service, the strategies of the firm for growth, and the revenues generated by those decisions. The location pattern we observe in the Fall of 1997, particularly the failure of ISP service to spread to all parts of the country, is consistent with the existence of economies of scale at the POP. Related strategic decisions induced variance in market structure in different regions of the country. The end result is that most of the population faces competitive supply of Internet access, while the remainder faced less ideal conditions in some rural areas. These structural and strategic differences should be central issues in policy discussions of universal access to advanced communications and computing technology. Many issues will remain unresolved until future research on access analyzes the precise determinants of firm entry and expansion strategies. How important is the presence of a wealthy or educated population? How important is the presence of advanced telecommunications infrastructure or a major educational institution? The answers to these questions are the key to understanding different patterns in different regions. Thus, these answers are the key to properly structuring policies. Finally, these patterns are remarkable in historical perspective. Universal service in telephony took decades to achieve, and then only occurred after considerable wrangling over subsidies for rural telephony and after the adoption of policies for interconnecting rural telephone companies with the dominant long-distance firm, AT&T. In contrast, ISPs retrofit their businesses onto the existing public-switch network with relatively low transaction costs in most places, enabling a small scale provider to succeed in low-density areas. Also, unlike telephony, the ISP industry did not require an entirely new equipment industry; instead, it relied primarily on existing equipment suppliers in PC markets, the established computer bulletin board market and local area network markets. Such qualifications require further understanding, since it is not as obvious that these conditions will persist. Hence, the fast and pervasive diffusion of dial-up access may not serve as an example for the diffusion of the next generation of commercial broadband Internet access.