Variations in the Broadband-Business Connection across the Urban Hierarchy


  • Elizabeth A. Mack

  • Elizabeth A. Mack is an Assistant Professor at the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287, USA. Her e-mail address is: The author wishes to thank Mark Partridge and Dan Rickman for sharing their urban hierarchy data and for providing assistance in the proper interpretation and use of these data.


This study estimates econometric models to evaluate the linkage between broadband Internet connections and firms in counties across the urban hierarchy within the continental U.S. Industry-related variations in this relationship are also explored using varied definitions of the urban hierarchy. Model results indicate broadband presence in remote areas is not an explanatory factor of establishment presence. Results also suggest the manner in which the urban hierarchy is defined matters. Traditional metropolitan/nonmetropolitan and urban/rural splits of locales are insufficient to capture the geographic and industrial nuances behind this relationship.