Governmental and Cultural Factors in Broadband Adoption

Governmental and Cultural Factors in Broadband Adoption

Elizabeth Fife (University of Southern California, USA), Laura Hosman (University of Southern California, USA) and Francis Pereira (University of Southern California, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-851-2.ch017
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Though the potential benefits of broadband Internet adoption are great, the levels of take-up vary greatly around the world. Some governments have adopted aggressive policies to deploy broadband networks and to encourage the use of these applications, while others have not. In the former cases, governments are motivated to promote broadband adoption in order to realize both economic and social benefits. This chapter argues that the high level of broadband adoption rates witnessed in certain Asian economies is attributable in part to the aggressive policies pursued by these governments. Independent of these policies however, social factors can also have an impact on whether broadband-related technology will be adopted. Even if economic and social benefits exist therefore, as in the case of telemedicine in the United States, cultural and social factors may in fact hinder the deployment of such applications and retard the growth rate of broadband access.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Culture: Patterns of human activity and the symbolic structures that give such activity significance. Different definitions of “culture” reflect different theoretical bases for understanding, or criteria for evaluating, human activity. Consists of values, norms, institutions, and artifacts passed on from generation to generation by learning.

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI): A long-term investment by a foreign investor in an enterprise resident in an economy other than that in which the foreign direct investor is based. The FDI relationship consists of a parent enterprise and a foreign affiliate which together form a multinational corporation (MNC). In order to qualify as an FDI, the investment must afford the parent enterprise control over its foreign affiliate.

Tele-Education: The use of information and communication technologies to provide education from a distance.

Telemedicine/Telehealth: The delivery of health- or medical-related services and information via telecommunications technologies.

Endogenous Growth Theory: An macroeconomic theory in which both technology and policy measures have an effect on long-term growth rates. It arose as a critique of neoclassical growth models which did not explain the origin of growth, assuming it to be exogenous.

Telework: A work arrangement in which employees enjoy limited flexibility in working location and hours. In other words, the daily commute to a central place of work is replaced by telecommunication links. It refers to substituting telecommunications for any form of work-related travel, thereby eliminating distance restrictions.

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