As the rapid development of broadband Internet access services continues, particularly fiber to the home (FTTH) services, the digital divide between provincial and urban areas is becoming a big social issue in Japan. We classify the issue into two problems: access to high-speed Internet and service utilization of high-speed Internet access. We focus on the latter problem by quantitatively and qualitatively investigating whether a digital divide problem exists based on Internet service utilization. Consequently, we discover that willingness to pay (WTP) for public services over FTTH is almost identical between provincial and urban areas. Furthermore, territorial digital broadcasting over FTTH accounts for a large part of WTP in provincial areas, while tele-working and tele-education are also important as public services over FTTH in urban areas.
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