Constructing the divide: Spatial disparities in broadband access

Tony H. Grubesic, Alan T. Murray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

103 Scopus citations


As residential broadband options such as cable and xDSL grow in popularity, broadband providers continue to roll out service in select market areas. However, due to technological limitations, some locations qualify for xDSL broadband service while others do not. The purpose of this article is to examine the impact of local geography on broadband (xDSL) network access. This type of micro-geographic analysis is important in two ways. First, a detailed analysis at the local level can reveal the spatial disparities in infrastructure access. Second, because broadband access is quickly emerging as the technology of choice for both small businesses and households, it is important to consider which locations will have opportunities for these connections and which locations will not. Utilising an integer programming model, the maximal covering location problem, and a geographic information system, xDSL broadband access is evaluated in Columbus, Ohio. Results indicate that many suburban areas can be left without adequate service.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)197-221
Number of pages25
JournalPapers in Regional Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 2002


  • DSL
  • Digital divide
  • GIS
  • Internet
  • Maximal covering location problem

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)


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