, Volume 68, Issue 1, pp 5–17 | Cite as

The diffusion of ICT in France: infrastructures, services, and uses

  • Sophie HouzetEmail author


How does the organization of space interfere in the numerical development of territories? Our hypothesis is that information and communication technologies (ICT) are organized by taking into account the existing spatial structures, compared to constraints of distance, spatial position and urban hierarchy. In the context of the liberalization of the sector of telecommunications, ICT spread according to an economic logic of profitability. The concern of network operators collides with the principle of territorial equity in planning policies. To understand the diffusion of ICT in France, a cartographic analysis of their distribution is proposed. It derives from the notion of networks at three levels: infrastructures, services and uses. The research takes into account the difference between regional configurations to identify the spatial factors of the digital divide. For each level, the diffusion of ICT follows a different logic, and characterizes territories with different orientations. Areas with a high density of population and activities are quickly equipped. The democratization of the use of the Internet, notably with the diffusion of public access to the Internet, is present to a greater degree in low-density areas.


Diffusion of information and communication technologies (ICT) High-speed networks Numerical development Public access to Internet ICT companies France 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.UMR 6012-ESPACE, Université d’Avignon et des Pays de VaucluseAvignon cedex 01France

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