Advanced Internet connectivity in higher education: The states's role in equitable access
AuthorBall, Mary Alice
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe Internet increasingly influences how we communicate with one another, conduct business, and educate our children. Our ability to connect to the Internet therefore becomes an integral part of our participating in and contributing to society. In this paper I examine equitable access to the telecommunications infrastructure that increasingly is used to transfer information around the country and the world. I focus my discussion on statewide networks and advanced Internet connectivity for publicly funded institutions of higher education. Using an informational questionnaire of all fifty United States and case studies of Mississippi and Washington, I investigate the role of state government in developing statewide networks that equitably serve public education. My findings indicate that more than any other source state government plays a critical role in financing the creation of statewide networks. They also show that the involvement of state government promotes equitable access to advanced networking but typically addresses this issue in terms of geographic location or socioeconomic status, rather than race. My research confirms that the more formalized the government's administrative structure for managing information technology, the more likely it is to fund the establishment of a statewide network. I also find that the presence of high technology corporations positively influences the development of a statewide network not so much because of the active involvement of industry but because the state government will act more entrepreneurially in constructing telecommunications infrastructure to promote industrial investment and economic growth.
Degree ProgramGraduate College