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The importance of broadband for socio-economic development: a perspective from rural Australia

Freeman, Julie, Park, Sora, Middleton, Catherine and Allen, Matthew 2016, The importance of broadband for socio-economic development: a perspective from rural Australia, Australasian journal of information systems, vol. 20, pp. 1-18, doi: 10.3127/ajis.v20i0.1192.

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Title The importance of broadband for socio-economic development: a perspective from rural Australia
Author(s) Freeman, Julie
Park, Sora
Middleton, Catherine
Allen, MatthewORCID iD for Allen, Matthew
Journal name Australasian journal of information systems
Volume number 20
Start page 1
End page 18
Total pages 18
Publisher University of Canberra
Place of publication Bruce, A.C.T.
Publication date 2016-10-17
ISSN 1449-8618
Keyword(s) rural connectivity
National Broadband Network
socio-economic development
digital divide
digital inclusion
Summary Advanced connectivity offers rural communities prospects for socio-economic development. Despite Australia’s national broadband infrastructure plans, inferior availability and quality of rural Internet connections remain persistent issues. This article examines the impact of limited connectivity on rural socio-economic opportunities, drawing from the views of twelve citizens from the Boorowa local government area in New South Wales. The available fixed wireless and satellite connections in Boorowa are slow and unreliable, and remote regions in the municipality are still without any Internet access. Participants identified four key areas in their everyday lives that are impacted by insufficient connectivity: business development, education, emergency communication, and health. Rural citizens often already face challenges in these areas, and infrastructure advancements in urban spaces can exacerbate rural-urban disparities. Participants’ comments demonstrated apprehension that failure to improve connectivity would result in adverse long-term consequences for the municipality. This article suggests that current broadband policy frameworks require strategic adaptations to account for the socio-economic and geographic contexts of rural communities. In order to narrow Australia’s rural-urban digital divide, infrastructure developments should be prioritised in the most underserved regions.
Language eng
DOI 10.3127/ajis.v20i0.1192
Field of Research 200102 Communication Technology and Digital Media Studies
Socio Economic Objective 890403 Internet Broadcasting
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Communication and Creative Arts
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Created: Wed, 19 Oct 2016, 09:43:52 EST

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