The Development of Broadband Public Networks: Two Case Studies

Dong Hee Shin
Information Science and Technology, Syracuse University
May, 2004
 

Abstract

This study conducts a case study on two broadband public networks in Buffalo and the Adirondacks. The focus of the study is on the processes involved in the development of broadband public networks funded by the New York State Advanced Telecommunication Program. This study evaluates the two network projects by tracing their developmental processes, from network design to the stabilization of metropolitan public networks. In addition, this study examines the directions, natures and features of these network developments by looking at the following research questions: How are broadband networks planned, designed, and implemented in communities? What are the consequences of the network developmental trajectories? As a theoretical framework, this study draws on Social Construction of Technology (SCOT) theory perspectives. It uses SCOT’s ideas of relevant stakeholders, interpretive flexibility, stabilization, and technological frame to analyze the process of the development of broadband public network projects. Methodologically, the study uses an in-depth case study approach. It mainly focuses on the Program period, from the beginning of the Program in 1998 to its ending in 2002. This study collects qualitative data primarily through in-depth interviews, drawing on respondents’ retrospective data. It draws on interviews from diverse stakeholders; strategic policy groups, user groups, technical groups, functional groups. In addition to interviews, it collects and analyzes archival documents from various sources to triangulate research findings.
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We wish to acknowledge the financial support of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council for their financial support through theAid to Scholarly Journals Program.

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