Does National Broadband Plan Narrow Digital Divide? Evidence from China

Meheroo Jussawalla Research Prize Award


  • Lian Wang, Assistant Professor, School of Economics and Management, Southwest Petroleum University, and Visiting Scholar, School of Business, University of Utah, USA


  • Chun Liu, Professor, School of Economics and Management, Southwest Jiaotong University, Peoples Rep. of China


Paper Slides


While more and more countries are jumping on the broadband plan bandwagon, there is a dearth of research on whether if a national broad plan could narrow a nation’s regional digital divide. In this paper, we use recent national statistical data sets to quantify the impact of China’s national broadband strategy on the digital divide. Our analysis has shown, while such a strategy could narrow the regional divide in terms of coverage of broadband infrastructure, it has a limited impact on closing the penetration divide, not to mention the quality divide. Particularly for countries that have entered the saturation stage of broadband development, the emphasis on broadband policy must be changed from continuing to invest in infrastructure to targeting users directly.

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