Bridging broadband Internet divides: Reconfiguring access to enhance communicative power

William H. Dutton, Sharon Eisner Gillett, Lee W. McKnight, Malcolm Peltu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Government and industry initiatives to stimulate the diffusion of high-performance broadband telecommunications links have given a fresh impetus to debates over the social and economic implications of the growing use of the Internet and other information and communication technologies (ICTs). This paper analyses how outcomes tied to ICT innovation are shaped by choices about whether and how to use, or not use, the technology to reconfigure access to people, services, information and technologies in ways that significantly change the communicative power of individuals, communities, organisations, nations and regions. It explains why these outcomes are not predetermined by the technology, but unfold over time through the complex interplay among many actors, in many arenas. A framework is presented to assist in addressing the issue of digital divides and other areas of research, policy and practice affected by the design and use of broadband Internet and related ICTs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)28-38
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Information Technology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2004


  • Broadband
  • Internet
  • Policy
  • Social impact
  • Telecommunications

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Strategy and Management
  • Library and Information Sciences


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