The Telecommunications Act of 1996 (TA96) was a complex piece of legislation that included a variety of mandates for the telecommunications market and its providers in the United States. A particularly important strategic goal of the TA96 was to establish regulatory policies that promote competition, innovation, and investment in broadband services and facilities. This includes the timely rollout of advanced telecommunication services to all Americans regardless of location, race, age or socioeconomic status. This paper documents the spatial and temporal distribution of advanced telecommunication services in the United States from December 1999 to June 2002, paying special attention to broadband availability at the local level. In addition, this paper explores local socioeconomic and demographic trends relating to broadband availability through the use of a nationwide geodemographic classification system. Results suggest that broadband availability is no longer simply a question of geography (i.e. urban vs. rural). Rather, there exists a complex and dynamic interplay between geography, socioeconomic status, market forces and policy - all of which shape the current broadband landscape.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Computer Networks and Communications
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering