Broadband connectivity for rural community and agricultural development

Freeman, Julie and Park, Sora 2017, Broadband connectivity for rural community and agricultural development, Farm policy journal, vol. 14, no. 3, Spring Quarter, pp. 19-29.

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Title Broadband connectivity for rural community and agricultural development
Author(s) Freeman, JulieORCID iD for Freeman, Julie
Park, Sora
Journal name Farm policy journal
Volume number 14
Issue number 3
Season Spring Quarter
Start page 19
End page 29
Total pages 11
Publisher Australian Farm Institute
Place of publication Surry Hills, N.S.W.
Publication date 2017
ISSN 1449-2210
Keyword(s) broadband infrastructure
digital divide
rural communities
digital agriculture
Summary Digital network technologies aid the socioeconomic prosperity of rural communities, particularly through agricultural innovation to improve productivity and competitiveness. However, internet access is imperative to benefit from the full functionality of digital technologies and connect to wider markets and services. To date, Australia’s national broadband plans have not ensured parity in service provision between urban and rural areas, which results in uneven opportunities based on remoteness and regionality. Forms of connectivity fundamentally shape the activities pursued online and areas with higher quality broadband hold a competitive advantage. Rural users of Australia’s satellite and mobile wireless connections are constrained by poor coverage, unreliability and slow speeds, which are compounded by high costs, limited consumer choice of providers, and restricted data allowances. These constraints mean the potential of digital technologies for rural socioeconomic development remain largely unrealised. This article argues that rural Australia must be prioritised in broadband infrastructure developments to narrow the digital divide and provide the connectivity necessary to increase rural participation in the digital economy. It suggests greater flexibility in policy would encourage investment in and support for local infrastructure solutions that address different demands and market environments.
Language eng
Field of Research 200102 Communication Technology and Digital Media Studies
0701 Agriculture, Land And Farm Management
Socio Economic Objective 950299 Communication not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2017, Australian Farm Institute
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