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date: 29 March 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article analyses the rapid diffusion of the Internet across the United States over the past decade for both households and firms. It puts the Internet's diffusion into the context of economic diffusion theory where costs and benefits are considered on the demand and supply side. The article also discusses several pictures of the Internet's current physical presence using some of the current main techniques for Internet measurement. It highlights different economic perspectives and explanations for the digital divide, that is, unequal availability and use of the Internet. This article provides an overview of the economic processes underlying the geographic digital divide. This involves two goals — to analyse a specific phenomenon, and to communicate general lessons.

Keywords: Internet diffusion, digital divide, United States, demand and supply, Internet measurement, economic diffusion

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