Challenges in Network Planning: ICT Diffusion and Territories

Special Report: Network Planning: New Forms and Challenges in Planning Network Infrastructure
By Marina Duféal, Loïc Grasland

The spatial dimension is usually implicit in prospective and planning processes, even if it doesn’t come out with sophisticated formalizations like models. Network planning also needs a good anticipation of future trends, especially as far as infrastructures are concerned. However, the “Schéma de Services Collectifs de l’Information et la Communication,” (information services national scheme) elaborated by the French national land-planning agency (DATAR) in 2002, has not considered the spatial dimension thoroughly, not because of an ideology proclaiming the ubiquity of IT usages (Information Technology), but because of an uneasy access to local data.
Firstly, this article analyses the deficiencies in the Scheme’s spatial diagnosis of IT diffusion. Secondly, it presents the results of an IT “markers” analysis in space and territories, including websites and DSL diffusion, in order to show the relevance of a refined geographical approach and to underline the essential issues in network planning.

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