Deployment of Mobile Broadband Service in the United States

Deployment of Mobile Broadband Service in the United States

James E. Prieger (Pepperdine University, USA) and Thomas V. Church (Hoover Institution, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-1981-4.ch001
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Broadband deployment in the United States is expanding rapidly but unevenly. Using new FCC census data on wireline and wireless broadband providers, the authors of this chapter study mobile broadband provision within the United States. Although rural areas lag behind non-rural areas in the availability of residential access to both mobile and fixed broadband, mobile broadband is at least partially filling in geographical gaps in fixed-line broadband coverage. Multiple regression results indicate that population density and growth, and the fraction of blacks, Hispanics, and youth in an area are positive predictors of the number of mobile broadband providers. The fraction of Native Americans, Asians, and senior citizens in an area are negative predictors. Income is positively associated with the number of providers, with largest effects in rural areas. Finally, even after controlling for population density and income, rural areas continue to be associated with a lower number of providers.
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Before describing and analyzing the data, we begin with a brief discussion of mobile broadband technology, covering the definition of “broadband,” wireless network architecture, and types of mobile broadband service providers. In the second part of this section, we review the existing literature on the determinants of broadband provision in the US.

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