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Development of the internet in Russian regions


The paper is devoted to a complex spatiotemporal analysis of the development of the Internet in the Russian Federation. The following quantitative and infrastructural aspects of regional disparities in the spread of the Internet are discussed: the regional distribution of the Internet audience, growth poles, disparities in the penetration level, etc. Changes in the geography of the Internet that took place over the first decade of the 21st century are revealed. Features of Russia’s geographical position and the related significant role of wireless technologies and the mobile Internet in particular are described. The network and organizational structure of the Russian Internet and its development prospects are covered. Qualitative aspects of regional disparities in the spread of the Internet in Russia are analyzed separately (the activity and effectiveness of the population’s use of the Internet). The dynamics and regional disparities in the development of the Internet and e-commerce market in Russia are examined. Conclusions are made about the significant decentralization in the regional distribution of Internet users in Russia in the first decade of the 21st century. The rapid proliferation of mobile communication technologies and mobile Internet penetration, in which Russia is among the world leaders, plays a significant role in smoothing geographical contrasts. However, a sufficiently rapid reduction in quantitative imbalances inside the country is accompanied by retention of significant qualitative gaps in the creation of Internet information resources and the Internet market, where metropolitan areas still have a monopoly.

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Correspondence to A. V. Nagirnaya.

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Original Russian Text © A.V. Nagirnaya, 2015, published in Izvestiya RAN. Seriya Geograficheskaya, 2015, No. 2, pp. 41–51.

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Nagirnaya, A.V. Development of the internet in Russian regions. Reg. Res. Russ. 5, 128–136 (2015).

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  • Internet
  • information technology
  • regions
  • diffusion of innovation
  • infrastructure
  • telecommunications
  • Internet market
  • e-commerce
  • digital divide