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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2005

Vivienne Spurge and Claire Roberts

The purpose of this paper is to review recent government policy to provide a context for an exploratory study of broadband take up and use by small‐ and medium‐sized…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review recent government policy to provide a context for an exploratory study of broadband take up and use by small‐ and medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs) in the Thames Valley region of the UK. In recent years, the business environment has been fundamentally altered by the information and communication revolution that has changed the way in which businesses are created, operated and managed. However, the take up of broadband amongst SMEs remains low. Recent government policy has focussed on stimulating both supply and demand sides of the market for broadband technology as an entry point for SMEs.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper discusses the impact of government policy upon the use of broadband by SMEs and considers how occupiers are using and benefiting from the use of broadband.

Findings

The research undertaken indicates that government policy promoting broadband take up amongst SMEs has been effective in terms of the achievement of targets. The majority of SMEs in the case study are now equipped with broadband. However, their use of broadband appears to be limited to the more rudimentary uses for communication and searching for information as opposed to advanced applications such as e‐business and marketing.

Originality/value

Current government policy is aimed at promoting ICT for SMEs, but their effectiveness and success is yet to be measured. There is a need for more research in respect of the impact of broadband upon the working practices of SMEs, their business performance and relative competitiveness.

Details

Journal of Property Investment & Finance, vol. 23 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-578X

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2005

Heejin Lee, Sangjo Oh and Yongwoon Shim

The purpose of this paper is to examine the widely‐held assumption that broadband infrastructure will bring social and economic benefits.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the widely‐held assumption that broadband infrastructure will bring social and economic benefits.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper examines the impacts of broadband in Korea, a country with the highest penetration rate of broadband. The current status of broadband in Korea is examined, followed by an assessment of its impact on electronic commerce, overall economic effects and new business opportunities.

Findings

There is evidence of positive impacts of broadband development in Korea. Most importantly, broadband internet not only provides a driving force for new businesses for related industries, but also forms a springboard for future infrastructure in the network economy.

Research limitations/implications

The paper focuses on positive impacts, which are largely anecdotal, and does not seek to assess negative impacts.

Originality/value

There has been little research into the socio‐economic benefits of broadband. In addition, the paper provides a snapshot of development in South Korea.

Details

info, vol. 7 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6697

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Article
Publication date: 9 August 2021

Malcolm J. Beynon, Max Munday and Neil Roche

The paper shows how small firms perceive the pathways through which access to and adoption of superfast broadband-enabled resources strengthen business performance…

Abstract

Purpose

The paper shows how small firms perceive the pathways through which access to and adoption of superfast broadband-enabled resources strengthen business performance. Improvements to broadband infrastructure do not automatically lead to adoption of opportunities made available through the broadband resource. Then, interventions can be used to alert small firms to new opportunities. However, the quality of interventions in terms of education and digital audits can be better targeted with information available on how small firms perceive the benefits from broadband access and whether these perceptions are reflected in business performance outcomes.

Design/methodology/approach

Data are used from the Digital Maturity Survey from Wales. The study uses principal component analysis and a dual stage cluster approach to show how SMEs believe they are benefitting from broadband access. These belief-based perceptions of broadband inferred business benefits are tested against business performance variables.

Findings

The analysis shows variation in SME perceptions of the benefits of broadband-enabled services. This study reveals a cluster of firms which perceived routes to business value in terms of variables linked to security and risk management, and then more commonly held notions linked to communication, competition enhancement and productivity.

Originality/value

While the research literature points to Information and Communication Technology (ICT) resources (ICT investment and skills) and use (digital applications), leading to new to business value improvements, this study suggests less work has sought to identify the critical themes identified by business owners in explaining how ICT resources and use tie to observed business performance. The study identifies these critical themes. The analysis suggests that these critical themes in terms of business value benefits as perceived by business owners can be summarised in terms of communication and competition benefits, and security and risk related benefits. The findings have a series of implications for interventions in the space.

Details

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2554

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Article
Publication date: 3 August 2021

Jianxiang Wan, Changteng Nie and Fan Zhang

As an important public infrastructure, broadband has absorbed a large amount of investment in China. However, how and to what extent these investments affect economic and…

Abstract

Purpose

As an important public infrastructure, broadband has absorbed a large amount of investment in China. However, how and to what extent these investments affect economic and social development is largely unknown. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the impact of broadband infrastructure construction on consumption of rural households, using an exogenous policy shock introduced by the China's “Broadband Countryside” pilot project.

Design/methodology/approach

Using the tracking sample data of China Household Financial Survey in 2013 and 2015, this study estimates the effect of broadband construction on rural household consumption and draws causality between them relying on a quasi-natural experiment based on an exogenous policy shock.

Findings

The difference-in-difference estimates show that broadband construction has significantly increased rural household consumption by 16.69%. This positive promotion effect is mainly achieved through mobile phone access to the Internet, while penetration of computer crowds out rural household consumption. Further research find that broadband construction has increased rural household consumption related to daily life and high-quality household consumption, but not statistically significant for the latter, and it has not helped to promote the consumption upgrading of rural households.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the understanding of the positive status of broadband infrastructure in economic and social development by analyzing the impact of broadband infrastructure construction on rural household consumption. This study expands the content of consumption to rural households, especially high-quality consumption and consumption upgrading in rural areas, which provides the possibility to further tap the consumption potential of rural market. The study is the first to explore how broadband infrastructure construction affects consumption of rural households using a quasi-natural experiment.

Details

China Agricultural Economic Review, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-137X

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Book part
Publication date: 30 November 2018

Lloyd Levine

Access to high-speed Internet is essential for full and consequential participation in the civic, economic, and education systems of modern life. Yet 30% of Californians…

Abstract

Access to high-speed Internet is essential for full and consequential participation in the civic, economic, and education systems of modern life. Yet 30% of Californians continue to lack “meaningful Internet access” at home. This digital divide is worse among already disadvantaged communities and prevents rural, lower-income, and disabled individuals from fully participating in the civic, economic, and education systems of life in 2018. This chapter establishes the magnitude of the digital divide, examines the factors that contribute to the Divide, and looks at which groups are most affected. Successful government programs that invested in utility infrastructure and adoption, such as the Rural Electrification Act, the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act and the California Advanced Services Fund, are examined to provide a foundation for broadband specific policy recommendations. The chapter sets up a framework for policy recommendations by segmenting the population based upon the concepts of material and motivational access and establishing meaningful Internet access as the goal for policy-makers. The chapter puts forth a number of specific policy recommendations to address the technological disparity and prevent it from furthering the economic and educational divides.

Details

The M in CITAMS@30
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-669-3

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Book part
Publication date: 15 December 2016

Abstract

Details

Mastering Digital Transformation
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-465-2

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Book part
Publication date: 17 September 2014

Laura I. Spears and Marcia A. Mardis

The purpose of this study was to determine the extent to which academic researchers consider the relationship between broadband access and children’s information seeking…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to determine the extent to which academic researchers consider the relationship between broadband access and children’s information seeking in the United States. Because broadband has been cited as an essential element of contemporary learning, this study sought to identify gaps in the attention given to the role of broadband in the information seeking environment of youth.

Approach

The researchers conducted a mixed method synthesis of academic research published in peer-reviewed journals between 1991 and 2011 that reported the information seeking of children aged 5–18 years. Quantitative and qualitative data were gathered from leading databases, analyzed separately, and conclusions drawn from integrated results.

Results

The results of this study indicated that broadband is rarely considered in the design of children’s information seeking published in peer-reviewed research journals. Only 15 studies showed any presence of broadband in study design or conclusions. Due to the small number of qualifying studies, the researchers could not conduct the synthesis; instead, the researchers conducted a quantitative relationship analysis and qualitative content analysis.

Practical implications

Given the focus of policymaking and public discussion on broadband, its absence as a study consideration suggests a crucial gap for scholarly researchers to address.

Research limitations

The data set included only studies of children in the United States, therefore, findings may not be universally applicable.

Originality/value

Despite national imperatives for ubiquitous broadband and a tradition of information seeking research in library and information science (LIS) and other disciplines, a lack of academic research about how broadband affects children’s information seeking persists.

Details

New Directions in Children’s and Adolescents’ Information Behavior Research
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-814-3

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Article
Publication date: 19 June 2020

Lloyd Levine

The digital divide has persisted in California and the USA as a whole at approximately the same level for the past decade. This is despite multiple programs being created…

Abstract

Purpose

The digital divide has persisted in California and the USA as a whole at approximately the same level for the past decade. This is despite multiple programs being created and billions of dollars being spent to close it. This paper examines why the efforts to date have been ineffective and to offers policy alternatives that might be more successful.

Design/methodology/approach

Using data from three, variable constrained projects in California, this paper examines the effectiveness of information-based outreach efforts at closing the digital divide. The projects tested various outreach and enrollment methods to see which, if any, could increase broadband adoption in low-income households.

Findings

This project found that providing low-income households’ information about low-cost broadband offerings was ineffective at closing the digital divide. The findings in this paper were similar to those of two other works that examined the federal Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) grants under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Practical implications

The findings of this paper along with the works cited that evaluated the BTOP program should be enough to change public policy. For the past ten years, efforts to close the digital divide have focused on providing information to low-income households. However, two independent surveys show broadband adoption has remained virtually flat during that period.

Social implications

The digital divide brings concomitant economic and education harms and challenges that plague those unable to access information, services, educational and employment opportunities with the same ease, speed and sufficiency as their connected peers and neighbors. Those harms exacerbate the already existing education and income divides. This paper shows that without a change in strategy, those harms will persist.

Originality/value

This paper breaks new ground and addresses one of the weaknesses identified in existing research. To the best of author’s knowledge, this is the first paper of its type to use programs designed to generate data that can be empirically evaluated for effectiveness. Prior studies attempted to assess program effectiveness by using data generated from fully implemented government programs. However, those programs contained a vast number of unidentified variables and insufficient data collection. They were not designed to facilitate academic evaluation, and as such made a true effectiveness evaluation challenging.

Details

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, vol. 18 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-996X

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Article
Publication date: 19 June 2020

Pedro Fuentes Hernández, Rosa María Aguilar Chinea and Pedro Baquero Pérez

This paper aims to study the results of the public aid programmes, through supply-side subsidies, for ultra-fast next generation access (NGA) broadband deployment that…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to study the results of the public aid programmes, through supply-side subsidies, for ultra-fast next generation access (NGA) broadband deployment that have been developed in The Canary Islands since 2013. These findings will, in turn, hopefully help the policymakers of archipelagos define their own ultra-fast broadband development plans.

Design/methodology/approach

An empirical approach has been used, based on the observation of the historical results obtained in the archipelago and the way broadband was diffused throughout the territory.

Findings

Results show that the broadband has developed asymmetrically in the archipelago, which, in turn, has caused the onset of a triple spatial digital divide. It was also observed that some aspects of the current way that such programmes are created and, consequently, the way that public funds are allocated, that could be improved and might help prevent geographical discrimination. Lastly, several insights have been presented for further investigation.

Originality/value

A large amount of scientific research has been carried out studying ultra-fast broadband NGA networks deployment. Less literature can be found on this topic when considering the specificities of fragmented territories like archipelagos. This paper tries to contribute with some empirical insights about such specific scenarios.

Details

Digital Policy, Regulation and Governance, vol. 22 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-5038

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Article
Publication date: 1 November 2006

Spyros E. Polykalas and Kyriakos G. Vlachos

To examine broadband competition and broadband penetration in a set of countries that employ the same regulation framework. To define the policy and strategy required to

Abstract

Purpose

To examine broadband competition and broadband penetration in a set of countries that employ the same regulation framework. To define the policy and strategy required to promote broadband in weak markets that do not employ alternative infrastructures.

Design/methodology/approach

Study penetration and competition level statistics from 2002 to 2005 in a set of countries with different infrastructures deployed, services provided as well as in their social‐economic structures but employing the same regulation framework. Measure the level of inter‐platform and intra‐platform competition as well as the availability of bitstream access versus the incumbents' shares.

Findings

The paper concludes that a mature broadband market is the one that exhibits a high penetration ratio in combination with a high competition level. Bitstream access can counterbalance the inexistence of alternative broadband infrastructures, especially in weak markets. In particular the availability of numerous bitstream access types in combination with the proper price differentiation can fuel broadband adoption in relatively weak broadband markets.

Originality/value

The paper challenges the general rule that only platform (also known as facility) based competition guarantees long‐term growth of the broadband market. Bitstream and resale access do not lag local loop unbundling and can be used in weak markets that do not employ alternative infrastructures to fuel competition in the relevant markets. Different policies and strategies must be followed, in that case, on behalf of the local NRA.

Details

info, vol. 8 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6697

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