Master of Science (MS)
Geography and Anthropology
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.
Document Availability at the Time of Submission
Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.
Driskell, Luke, "Mapping the digital divide in neighborhoods: Wi-Fi access in Baton Rouge, Louisiana" (2010). LSU Master's Theses. 3631.