Research Thesis Topic
Strengthening regional resilience thorugh digital connectivity: the socio-economic impacts of upgraded communications and connectivity in several remote central Queensland communities
Internet-enabled digital technologies are crucial resources for communications and creating alternative development pathways towards resilience and connectedness in remote and rural communities. Many rural and remote communities are plagued by patchy connectivity, lower speeds, poor quality broadband internet and no mobile phone coverage. To establish greater confidence and certainty about the value of investing in digital infrastructure and technology in rural and remote communities, there is both a need and considerable scope to identify, map and assess the socio-economic characteristics, processes and impacts involved in communities transforming beneficially from being digitally dis-advantaged to digitally-empowered.
This project is a three year longitudinal evaluative study of the impacts arising from the upgrading of digital and communications infrastructure in the Barcoo and Diamantina Regional Councils in central western Queensland. Several objectives frame the study. These are to:
1. Identify, record and map the socio-economic profile of five localities before the activation of ADSL 2+ broadband services and 4G mobile services;
2. Identify and measure the changes (if any) over time of any socioeconomic characteristics over time, following the activation of digital connection in the case study communities;
3. Understand better how digital connection has led to community and economic change;
4. Identify and describe implications for the future socio-economic development of the Barcoo, Diamantina and broader Central western Queensland region; and
5. Draw out any conclusions that should bear on future digital communications policy and programs in regional Australia.
- Institute for Resilient Regions
- Applied Economics
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