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The Economic Geography of the Internet's Infrastructure

Edward J. Malecki
Economic Geography
Vol. 78, No. 4 (Oct., 2002), pp. 399-424
Published by: Clark University
DOI: 10.2307/4140796
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4140796
Page Count: 26
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The Economic Geography of the Internet's Infrastructure
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Abstract

The Internet is perhaps the defining technology of the emerging twenty-first century. This article examines the infrastructure that comprises the "network of networks" and the spatial patterns that have emerged in the Internet's short existence. In its brief history, the Internet has manifested a tentative relationship with the urban hierarchy. This relationship is tracked over a four-year period (1997 to 2000), during which firms made massive investments in new fiber-optic lines and upgrades. A global bias of Internet backbone networks toward world cities is evident, and it is tempered only slightly by a set of urban areas that serve as interconnection points between backbone networks. Interconnection is both critical to the functioning of the Internet and the source of its greatest complications.

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