Local implementation of a broadband network: social impact issues of new broadband capacity in Australia

Tiffany Amber Tenty, Brendan Wallis, Sumita Ghosh, Richard Howitt

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    In April 2009, the Australian Government announced plans to roll-out the National Broadband Network (NBN) Company Open Access Network in Australia. Australia's NBN will bring high speed internet access to areas and people that otherwise would have been without. Predicting consequences (both positive and negative) arising from the NBN, as well as risks and opportunities that it will generate differentially between places, groups and sectors, is inherently uncertain. With little reliable data available on social impacts of NBN-style access at the household and community level, policy-making and regulation risks responding to optimistic speculation and commercially motivated spin rather than carefully weighed evidence. The research reported in this paper aimed to address this gap with a preliminary assessment of the social impacts of the NBN-like broadband roll-out at one New South Wales test site in southwest Sydney. The paper discusses the research methods and findings and frames recommendations for further research to address both limitations that arose in the research reported here, and broader gaps in understanding the social impacts of new forms of broadband access and associated applications.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)20-39
    Number of pages20
    JournalJournal of social inclusion
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2012

    Bibliographical note

    Copyright the Author(s). Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. Original work licensed under a CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 AU License. For further rights please contact the publisher.


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