The Internet: A Global Geographic Approach

Special Report: Lands and Communications
By Gabriel Dupuy

Governments are more and more urged to help performing Internet connectivity in their territories. Unfortunately the possibility of improving electronic services at the local level depends on forces that shape the architecture of the Internet as a whole, i.e. as a world network.
Through a broad review of the literature on the geography of the Internet infrastructure and by emphasizing fractal dimensions of the network, the article presents the features of this global architecture and its dynamics since the birth of the Internet.
First the trend led toward a systematic connection of affluent and densely occupied areas, especially metropolitan aeras. At the turn of the millennium an inflection appeared in this trend, due to global network liability failures. The change resulted in better connectivity for some particular places (gateways, waypoints,..) relatively less dense and wealthy.
Future trends are also scrutinized. The conclusion of the article is focused on the role of national Governments for improving the connectivity of local territories by combining a local scale approach (needs, demand,..) and a global scale approach (world architecture of the Internet).

Go to the article on