Cities, Regions and Internet Infrastructure in Europe
New Horizons in Regional Science series
Chapter 2: The fundamentals of the Internet infrastructure: a cross- discipline review
This chapter reviews the relevant literature and provides the necessary theoretical framework to further investigate the research questions illustrated in the introductory chapter. The starting point for approaching the Internet infrastructure, even from an economic geography standpoint, is an analysis of its architecture. This provides all the necessary technical knowledge to understand how this complex technical system works. Then, the main core of the relevant literature is grouped in three main pillars: (1) the Internet geography; (2) the world cities literature; and (3) the link between regional economics and the Internet infrastructure. The first element identified as the Internet geography is directly related to all three research questions of this study. As will be further analyzed in the relevant section, this book is part of this emerging research field of the Internet geography. The second pillar provides a wider theoretical framework for this study and for the Internet geography field as it maps and analyses the increased interaction and interdependence among cities, the importance of which is highlighted in the frame of the global economy. Lastly, the third pillar is mostly related to the third research question about the impacts of the Internet infrastructure on regional economic development. The current economic framework and its facilitation by the Internet infrastructure, especially at the level of city-regions, is analyzed.
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