April 13, 2009
London is one of the best connected cities in the world from a structural as well as from a functional perspective. The central finance and business districts of the metropolis feature both an extraordinarily well-developed information infrastructure and an unusually high concentration of information-dependent businesses. Outside these core districts, however, global connectivity drops massively. An informational divide rips through the global city. This paper builds on a comparatively recent understanding of 'new electronic communications technologies as part of a long history of rich and often wayward social practices' (Thrift) and seeks to provide a historical perspective on the emergence of global connectivity patterns. Due to its longstanding history as a global financial centre and its central position in the global and domestic telegraph network of the nineteenth century, London will provide a suitable case study to examine the long-term interplay of socioeconomic and structural patterns in the creation of global information networks.