The Internet Age: Not the End of Geography
The geography of the Internet is closely related to both the structures that link, at the highest level, world cities, and to the demand of large business customers that have always driven the demand for new telecommunications technology. This chapter reviews these themes and, with some evidence from the USA, concludes that, while some shifts are evident in the urban hierarchy, much stability remains. The Internet is a convergence or fusion of information types, information media, and information operators. The attraction of large-city markets results in several competitors, and network redundancy, in the Internet backbone on some city-pairs. The mesoscale is represented by the Points of Presence, which is typically a junction point of the high-bandwidth backbone network. Internet telephony continues to challenge traditional pricing models for long-distance and international service. As both technological change and market demand push further utilization of Internet-based business, geography and uneven local development are reaffirmed rather than eliminated.