- Information Infrastructure Indicators,1990-2010 - Pyramid Research is developing a set of indicators, designing a methodology and defining empirical data to be used in assessing the information infrastructure. This project is worldwide in scope, with special emphasis on developing countries.
The latest data broken down by region (Latin America and the Caribbean; South Asia, East Asia and Pacific, Eastern Europe, Middle East and North Africa, and sub-Saharan Africa) is being used to define the indicators. The indicators are based on actual data and projections for total investment, revenue, infrastructure and traffic for the period 1990-2010.
- Mastering Inner Space: Telecommunications Technology and Geography in the Twentieth Century - The technologies employed to link and unite the inner spaces of worlds well known in the second half of the nineteenth century are analogous in many ways to the technologies of outer and inner spaces that have been sources of wonder to those of us alive during the second half of the twentieth century. Moreover, the geography of telegraphy and telephony in the nineteenth century set the stage for the geography of intercommunications technologies that produced today's information society. In the same way, I believe, developments in telecommunications over the last half century help us identify some of the questions that will occupy the attention of geographers interested in communications technologies over the next few decades. I will review briefly the geography of intercommunications in both the nineteenth and the twentieth centuries, to see what might be inferred about a geographical agenda for the information society on the threshold of the twenty-first century.
- Knowledge in Motion: Information Services in the Digital Millennium: A Study in Organizational Theory - In the midst of escalating war in the Balkans, global instability, and tragedy in Colorado, a new type of information organization is conceived. Knowledge In Motion (KIM) has a long-term goal to serve humanity by providing free quality knowledge services to the Metro Denver community, to facilitate communication and interaction between our community and the world, and to create and disseminate information that is beneficial to our community. This goal comprises the mission statement of KIM and provides a framework for organizational development and continuous evaluation of service. Fulfilling this mission means transforming global information into local knowledge for the Denver, metro area.
In an information agency that seeks to answer questions, rather than simply supply information, strategies involve communications as the core technology. Direct interaction with the environment enables assertive delivery of relevant news and information, as well as feedback from the community on questions perceived as relevant to specific places, times, cultural values, and social conditions. By incorporating a dynamic work environment ready to take on this challenge, this organization can begin to create and discover connections between various community members and the world of information.
- Advanced Internet for Industry - Communications - Once every machine and device is connected to the Internet, which won't be far off, the traffic on the Internet is going to get a lot heavier. According to a study on machine-to-machine (M2M) communication by Deloitte Consulting, the growth of this type of communication is accelerating and could soon outstrip the already incredible growth of human-initiated communication on the Internet. Deloitte predicts that M2M communication could dominate the Internet by 2005.
- The ghosts in the machines - Embedded devices are everywhere - in your car, in your fridge, even in your children's toys. In the future, expect everything to be connected to everything else.
- Revolution in the U.S. Information Infrastructure - Although terms like "national information infrastructure" and "information superhighway" have only recently become part of the vernacular, societies have always had information infrastructures. From mail carried by ship and Pony Express, to the telegraph, telephone and wireless, we have developed means and technologies that permit communication with others who are far from us. What is so dramatically different about today's information infrastructure, however, is its power and reach. Digital technology, optical transmission of information, and the continuing surge in the microchip's data-processing capability have spawned a spreading communications network throughout the world. These technological developments offer untold opportunities in fields as diverse as entertainment and industrial management. The public and private sectors are investing substantial sums to develop and implement the hard and soft infrastructure necessary to realize the promise of these advances.
Because of the complexity of the myriad undertakings now under way, and because the general public understands little of their implications, the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) decided to focus its 1994 Annual Meeting Technical Session on the revolution in the information infrastructure. The intent of the meeting was to obtain the views of a diverse set of speakers whose current activities and future plans cover a broad range of approaches to the subject. The symposium addressed three broad questions:
- What technical and economic factors will determine the standards of and marketplace demand for products and services?
- What roles are government and private investment, demonstration projects, and regulation and regulatory reform likely to play in the development of the infrastructure during the next decade?
- What are the problems and promises for people's lives and organizations' work as video and data communications approach and surpass the interactivity of telephones?
- The Wireless Age - Wireless technology has taken the world by storm. The growth of the wireless phone market is nearly as impressive as the Internet explosion itself. Consider that, outside of North America, more people use wireless phones than surf the Web. Combining the two seems irresistible. These papers discuss the implications for society, business and government.
- IICD - The International Institute for Communication and Development promotes development through increased use of (electronic) communication. The website has some full text publications on ICT development and access gaps (between and within countries, rural/urban etc.) and describes projects in some focal countries.
- Towards A Global Information Society - Advances in technology are fast transforming OECD countries into information societies and, over time, are expected to boost productivity and create jobs. But beyond economic gains, Global Information Infrastructures - Global Information Society (GII-GIS) -- which means the development and integration of high-speed global communication networks combined with a set of core services and applications whose access is fully interactive within and across national borders -- may generate changes in organisational and work structures, in public services, and in social and cultural activities. While the development and diffusion of GII-GIS will be driven by the private sector, governments will need to put into place new policies designed so that all sectors benefit to the fullest. Towards a Global Information Society details the developments in GII-GIS and sets out policy recommendations, endorsed by OECD Ministers last year, for developing and diffusing national and global communication infrastructures as well as for their access and use, for multimedia content and applications, and for electronic commerce.
- Information and Communication Technology: Entrepreneurs' Handbook - If you run a small business there will be endless demands on your time and resources. Self-employment also brings new and exciting challenges and the chance to improve your skills and the means to provide increased income. Running a small business also means facing the responsibilities that go with the job. You are likely to be the only decision-maker, and if mistakes are made, the buck stops with you. New information and communication technologies (ICTs) such as computers, mobile phones, email and the Internet are providing a new challenge for the business community in developing countries. Unfortunately, for many businesses even a telephone line connection remains unobtainable. However, the costs of access to new communication technologies such as mobile phones - are falling rapidly, and investment in such technologies may benefit your business. This handbook is designed to assist you in understanding the new technologies and how they may be applied to your business. However, it is also recognised that the technology may not be a solution to business problems, and may produce both costs and benefits in the running of your business. The handbook, therefore, is aimed at a range of businesses - new start-ups, businesses with access to new technologies, and those without.
- ICT clusters in development: Theory and evidence - This paper analyzes the impact of information and communications technologies (ICT) on economic growth and agglomeration, emphasizing outcomes for regional inequality. ICT significantly displays the same features---increasing returns, knowledge spillovers---that drive both growth and agglomeration. However, in the data, cross-economy inequality has been rising for longer than has ICT been perceptibly influencing economic performance. In Europe, nation states show no special advantage in using ICT as a driver for economic growth; ICT clusters seamlessly transcend national borders.
- Bandwidth for dummies - Consider this. In the last twelve months, 2.7 trillion e-mails were sent, 70 million voice mails were placed and $40 billion was transacted through e-commerce. The bandwidth capacity of submarine cables is to grow by 4000% from 300Gbps in 1999 to 12,000Gbps in 2002. To put this in perspective, this is enough to stream four million DVD quality movies at once, or to transmit the text of every newspaper ever printed in a single second. More importantly, for every 50% decrease in bandwidth price, in general, ISPs have purchased a 100% increase in capacity. In September 2000, bandwidth began to be quoted on the Dow Jones commodity market. So bandwidth is the commodity of the moment, but unlike for example petrol, the full importance of bandwidth to our economy and society are not immediately evident. Instead of blockading my local telephone exchange or cable landing station to bring its relevance to the fore, I will instead attempt to outline its benefits and revolutionary potential via this document.
Bandwidth is the railway that transports intellectual capital. However it is more than this, it is in effect tied up in a symbiotic relationship with that capital, as it facilitates its creation. Once an area has access to bandwidth, it is on the network, and now becomes a more economically viable venue for the creation of ideas and innovation, able to participate in the new economy. The degree of this participation will have a direct relationship with the quantity of bandwidth available for access. This is why Enterprise Ireland, a state development body, is creating a number of digital business parks in Cork, Limerick and Galway, that will be connected onto a broadband network. By putting these rural areas on the network they have connected into the new economy, with the aim of attracting start-ups in digital media, e-business and software. Cisco systems is now the largest company in the world in terms of market capitalisation; this is because they are market leaders in the production of networking technology. The network is becoming the economy.
- Economic TeleDevelopment Forum - Links - Numerous links pertaining to teledevelopment and wired communities.
- Discussions of Gilder's concept of telecosm
- Communication Processes for Virtual Organizations - Communication is fundamental to any form of organizing but is preeminent in virtual organizations. Virtual organizations are characterized by (a) highly dynamic processes, (b) contractual relationships among entities, (c) edgeless, permeable boundaries, and (d) reconfigurable structures. Relative to more traditional settings, communication processes that occur in virtual contexts are expected to be rapid, customized, temporary, greater in volume, more formal, and more relationship-based. To glean insight into communication processes for virtual organizations, we draw on the rich body of literature on synchronous and asynchronous electronic organizational communication. The vast set of empirical findings regarding mediated communication can foreshadow how communication will change as firms "go virtual." Six areas of electronic communication research provide implications for the major aspects of virtual organization design: (1) communication volume and efficiency, (2) message understanding, (3) virtual tasks, (4) lateral communication, (5) norms of technology use, and (6) evolutionary effects.
- The Importance Of Time In The Diffusion Of Information And Communication Technologies (ICTS): - George Shackle writing in 1963 argues that much of 'scientific' economic method relies on a mechanistic view of the world. This deterministic conception of reality has at its core the assumption that time is reversible therefore allowing scientific prediction, or to be more precise the assignment of statistical probabilities, to reduce uncertainty to risk. A reality characterised by certainty only exists in a deterministic world characterised by artificial reversible time where stability allows the classification of instances and the construction of laws that regulate the relation amongst instances.
Shackle goes on to ask the question if this is the case then how is the economist going to explain invention, development, evolution, irreversible change? When explaining the diffusion of the techno-economic paradigm associated with the adoption of online Information and Communication Technologies (Icts) this is precisely the analytical territory we are traversing. This task was not made any easier by the fact that there are no extensive time series data available examining changes in usage behaviour over time and more generally the problems conventional economic analysis faces in dealing with the shift in focus from tangible commodities towards knowledge intensive processes.
Most studies of technical change focus on the firm as the central unit of analysis; by contrast much of the empirical work of this study focuses on individual domestically based users which are an important source of micro-economic creativity relating to the use of innovative online technologies. The shrinking economies of scale afforded by recent innovations in ICTs have allowed these individuals to undertake increasingly complex micro-economic activity in their home environments. Questions of definition concerning what is a firm and if it is applicable to an individual undertaking economic activity in the household need to be further addressed.
What is also significant about this project is its rejection of technological determinism as a primary mode of analysis. It is clear that many social or socio-economic determinants are key variables in the process of technology and diffusion, therefore, socio-economic analysis of the relationship between technology, consumers, producers and providers must take account of these variables. These socio-economic variables are various and include, for example, legal, cultural, political and organisational variables. We do not discount the fact that technology has some deterministic role in the processes being examined; however, we seek to bring a more subtle and incisive analytical approach to this and other analyses by offering one that is also sensitive to social variables. This paper in particular focuses on the allocation of time during the adoption process and the relationship between time allocation and usage determinants.
- Understanding Modern Telecommunications and the Information Superhighway - Table of Contents - online book: As we move from the industrial age to the information age, the digital convergence of communications, video, computers, film, graphics, text, and sound on instantaneous, interactive delivery systems will have an effect on absolutely everything. There is a transformation going on that is global and unalterable. The change from analog to digital data, pumped to us at mega speed is going to change the world. We'll have new businesses, dead businesses, and old businesses, doing new business in new ways. We are witnessing the birth and death of small companies and multinational corporations as well as a changed world order. Everyone has trouble keeping pace with these changes.
What is the Information Superhighway? The World Wide Web? What is cyberspace? We are certainly living in interesting times, but nobody knows for sure where we are going. Whenever a new technology is introduced, it is quite common for the "expert" to be pessimistic. (A few famous quotations from the past are noted throughout the book). Either "it won't work" or "there's no market for it."
The techno-literate always overestimate the speed at which the public will adopt technology, while they underestimate the value of the human touch. Just because we can book a flight on our personal computers does not mean the demise of the travel agent, provided the agent offers service and sensible advice. But nobody should underestimate the public's ability to adapt to change.
- Advanced Communications For Cohesion And Regional Development - Can advanced communications, long acknowledged as a central tool of European integration, also play a role in increasing cohesion? Or might advanced communications lead to greater economic inter-connectedness - but not necessarily to the balanced development of peripheral regions or, thus, to cohesion?
The answer is not obvious. Examples of both effects have been found during our research, even within single applications . Advanced communications have eased the logistics of the take-over of dairy processors in the Azores by distributors from the mainland, on the one hand improving access to mainland markets, but on the other weakening the bargaining position of local farmers. They have brought teleservice jobs to Scotland and Ireland, although with few linkages to the local economy. While no one can claim certainty as to the long-term effects, we distinguish some key trends in this paper.
In the past ten years, advances in communications technology have increasing effects on a globally connected financial marketplace. Bankers and financiers (long time financial market overseers) have always used sophisticated technology in financial markets in order to maximize returns on their investments. Thus, financial markets have always been known for their timely and accurate information. Before the invention of the telegraph, stock market participants used carrier pigeons for sending and receiving information. However, this way of transmitting information was sufficient only for local and regional markets. The invention of the telegraph replaced carrier pigeon networks because this flow of information allowed for the transmission of more efficient and distant communication. Thus, financial markets expanded from only local and regional networks to national and international scope. With the technological progress, the telegraph was replaced by the telephone, which in turn was replaced by the Internet. The Internet's enabling of communication and transactions is creating unprecedented opportunities, as well as enormous problems for the future of worldıs financial markets and the participating actors of these markets.
- We're Connecting Canadians to the World - Connecting Canadians - Connecting Canadians is the federal government's vision and plan to make Canada the most connected country in the world. In an increasingly competitive and knowledge-based global economy, Canada can benefit by becoming a world leader in the development and use of advanced information and communications technologies. A series of articles on Connecting Canadians programs, policies and services was recently prepared to provide an update on the initiative. You can read the feature articles here.
- Another Perspective on the Challenge - The potential advantages offered to national security operations by these dynamically expanding technology-enabled tools and services are certainly revolutionary. The JOINT VISION 2010 goals and objectives of our Joint Staff acknowledge this. However, achieving the potential requires more attention and resources applied to managing information served up by those tools and services, because a counter-productive potential effect of the technology is to overwhelm those conducting operations with more information than they can cope with. Such an outcome can only further confuse decision-makers, not increase their knowledge and expedite their efforts, the ultimate objective.
Indicative of efforts currently directed at providing decision-makers more data rather than information contributing needed knowledge is the increasing number, type and capacity of telecommunications services being planned to support national security operations. Accelerating demand for telecommunications services (including larger volume capacity - called "bandwidth") frequently result in "stove-pipe" duplicative networks that restrict awareness of and access to information or require users to use duplicative systems. Uncoordinated (managed) responses to unbridled demands for such diverse telecommunications services will potentially result in overwhelming users with information they must sort through to obtain knowledge needed for effective efficient performance of assigned missions and functions.
What's needed is a new perspective on managing information resources to enable more cost-effective and efficient use of the technology to provide innovative and synergistic enterprise-wide information services offered by the technology to provide competitive advantages perceived by JOINT VISION 2010.
Therein lies the current challenge, addressed by this paper.
- Virtual Library of the Information City: Geography of Communications - A large collection of links related to various aspects of the geography of communications and other geographic areas.
- Value-added virtues: Around-the-clock, virtual accessibility sets companies apart from their competitors - Communications services enhance the benefits of a PBX, helping companies to become more cost-effective and flexible, while offering their customers improved services. They bring users advantages in terms of costs and competitiveness. A risky proposal? Not at all, since "customer relationship" and "time" are two decisive factors in the struggle to gain a competitive edge.
- An Economic Geography of Information & Telecommunications: Outline & Resources
- Telecom Technology and American Rural Development in the 21st Century - Bibliographic References
- Global Stakes Of The New Information And Communication Technologies - What are the impacts of new information technologies on the economic activities of the old industrialized countries and the countries of the southern hemisphere?
- Global Stakes Of The New Information And Communication Technologies
- The Impact of Global Reach Through Telecommunications
- Understanding the Space of Flows
- The Trendspotter's Guide to New Communications
- The Rise of Globalism in Communications
- Private Telecommunications Networks
- President's Commission on Critical Infrastructure Protection
- Geography Of Communication and Information
- Communications Futures Project (Australia)
- European Union Research Activities in Agricultural and Rural Informatics and Communications Technologies
- Communication and Distance - Social and Regional Impacts
Go to Space-Economy Page
Go to Web Links Page
Go to UWO Geography Home Page