Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

UF Study Shows Despite Ads, Cities Catch The ‘Net While Small Towns Lag

Date:
June 29, 1999
Source:
University Of Florida
Summary:
Even as the hype portrays the Internet as a tool that will level the economic playing fields for big cities and small towns, the virtual reality is that a few select cities will get the lion's share of the information action, a new University of Florida study finds.

Writer: Cathy Keen

Related Articles


Sources: Sean Gorman -- (215)765-3199, [email protected]
Edward Malecki -- (352) 392-0496, [email protected]

GAINESVILLE, Fla. --- Even as the hype portrays the Internet as a tool that will level the economic playing fields for big cities and small towns, the virtual reality is that a few select cities will get the lion's share of the information action, a new University of Florida study finds.

Although catchy ads show people linked from remote cabins, the need for reliable connections is clustering the Internet in core cities while rural locations lag further behind, said Sean Gorman, a UF graduate student in geography who did the research for his dissertation.

"There is this notion with the Internet that you can locate anywhere and still be connected," Gorman said. "Although everyone can get connected, not everyone is connected equally."

Better service and faster connections in the select cities are likely to drive business and job location -- and ultimately economic growth -- in the Information Age, he said.

In the first study of its kind to examine how geography affects the Internet, Gorman found a distinct hierarchy of cities for Internet infrastructure. The first tier of San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Chicago was much better connected than the second-level cities of Atlanta, New York and Dallas. The third tier consisted of Phoenix, Cleveland, Seattle, Los Angeles, Kansas City, Mo. and Houston, and the fourth is Boston, Denver, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Detroit, Miami, Jacksonville and Orlando, he said.

One result is that the Internet has become like the airline industry, with a few hub cities getting the fastest and most direct connections, Gorman said.

"No longer merely a public infrastructure, the Internet has become a real battleground for several large corporations," said UF geography professor Edward J. Malecki, who supervised the research. "Sean's is the first work to apply network analysis to the Internet in this way."

"If you're just sending e-mails back and forth and doing some occasional Web browsing, it's not going to affect you too much," Gorman said. "But if you're locating a corporation in South Dakota or Montana to take advantage of cheap labor and land, it will be impossible to keep pace with your competitors in places like suburban Washington, D.C., or the Silicon Valley.

"Even though you're dealing with milliseconds, it really does make a big difference with some of these high-speed applications," he said. "When you have to take a series of hops through places with little capacity or connections and you get a lot of traffic and congestion, you begin losing packets and they have to be retransmitted."

A message sent on the Internet between the University of Florida in Gainesville and The Tampa Tribune, for example, makes six hops, traveling through Jacksonville, Atlanta, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Orlando before finally reaching Tampa. In contrast, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. -- thousands of miles farther apart from each other than Gainesville and Tampa -- have direct links with each other, he said.

There also are more than a dozen Internet transmission lines connecting San Francisco and Los Angeles but only a few between Jacksonville and Orlando, said Gorman, who did the research by compiling data from networks and provider maps into a series of matrices. These multiple links are critical because when one line becomes congested or fails, traffic can be rerouted instantly to another, he said.

"If you just have one link and a backhoe hits the line or a power outage occurs -- which happens frequently and is a huge fear of companies and network providers -- it's all over for you," Gorman said. "You can't run your Web site. You can't run your business. It's completely blacked out."

The Internet has become so essential to today's businesses it's relied upon for even the most routine things, from directly connecting suppliers and distributors to making goods more available to customers, Gorman said. And with companies such as IBM airing commercials on television saying geography doesn't matter and business magazines touting the benefits of the Internet, companies are under a great deal of pressure to use it, he said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Florida. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Florida. "UF Study Shows Despite Ads, Cities Catch The ‘Net While Small Towns Lag." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 June 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/06/990628161952.htm>.
University Of Florida. (1999, June 29). UF Study Shows Despite Ads, Cities Catch The ‘Net While Small Towns Lag. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/06/990628161952.htm
University Of Florida. "UF Study Shows Despite Ads, Cities Catch The ‘Net While Small Towns Lag." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/06/990628161952.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Science News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Building Google Into Cars

Building Google Into Cars

Reuters - Business Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) Google's next Android version could become the standard that'll power your vehicle's entertainment and navigation features, Reuters has learned. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
AP Review: Nikon D750 and GoPro Hero 4

AP Review: Nikon D750 and GoPro Hero 4

AP (Dec. 19, 2014) What to buy an experienced photographer or video shooter? There is some strong gear on the market from Nikon and GoPro. The AP's Ron Harris takes a closer look. (Dec. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
After Sony Hack, What's Next?

After Sony Hack, What's Next?

Reuters - US Online Video (Dec. 19, 2014) The hacking attack on Sony Pictures has U.S. government officials weighing their response to the cyber-attack. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins