Identifier

etd-04282010-101710

Degree

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Geography and Anthropology

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

The communication made possible by the Internet has leveled the global playing field in some ways, but helped maintain traditional inequalities as well. The “digital divide” refers to disparities in telecommunication access and use from global to local scales. This study uses access point mapping to quantify local Internet access in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. A Wi-Fi access point (router) density was obtained and compared to various demographic and socioeconomic attributes in neighborhoods. Fieldwork confirmed the expectation that traditionally disadvantaged groups would have the lowest rates of Wi-Fi ownership, but median household income was unexpectedly less related than race, education, and single-mother households. Results from research following the access point mapping technique can help inform planners in implementing municipal Wi-Fi networks meant to redress the digital divide. It can also be used as a proxy measure for socioeconomic data that are not updated often or are expensive to collect.

Date

2010

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Wang, Fahui

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