'Digital by Default' and the 'hard to reach': Exploring solutions to digital exclusion in remote rural areas

Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/10034/620528
Title:
'Digital by Default' and the 'hard to reach': Exploring solutions to digital exclusion in remote rural areas
Authors:
Williams, Fiona; Philip, Lorna; Farrington, John; Fairhurst, Gorry
Abstract:
In the UK, the geography of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure required for Internet connectivity is such that high speed broadband and mobile phone networks are generally less available in rural areas compared with urban areas or, in other words, as remoteness and population sparsity increase so too does the likelihood of an area having no or very poor broadband connectivity. Against a policy backdrop of UK Government efforts to bring forward network infrastructure upgrades and to improve the accessibility of broadband services in locations where there is a weak commercial investment case, this paper considers the options for the ‘final few’ in the prevailing ‘Digital by Default’ public services context. The paper outlines the Rural Public Access WiFi Services project, a study focused upon enabling Internet connectivity for commercially ‘hard to reach’ rural areas in the UK. The Rural Public Access WiFi Services concept and the experiment are introduced before findings from a pilot deployment of a broadband service to households in a remote rural area, who may be classified as ‘digitally excluded’, are presented. The paper then reflects on our field experiment and the potential of the Rural Public Access WiFi Services model as a solution to overcoming some of the digital participation barriers manifest in the urban–rural divide. Early indications show that the Rural Public Access WiFi Services model has the potential to encourage participation in the Digital Economy and could aid the UK Government’s Digital by Default agenda, although adoption of the model is not without its challenges.
Affiliation:
University of Chester; University of Aberdeen
Citation:
Williams, F., Philip, L., Fairhurst, G., & Farrington, J. (2016). ‘Digital by Default’ and ‘the hard to reach’: exploring solutions to digital exclusion in remote rural areas. Local Economy, 31(7), 757-777. DOI: 10.1177/0269094216670938
Publisher:
SAGE
Journal:
Local Economy
Publication Date:
30-Sep-2016
URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/10034/620528
DOI:
10.1177/0269094216670938
Additional Links:
http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0269094216670938
Type:
Article
Language:
en
Description:
Williams, F., Philip, L., Fairhurst, G., & Farrington, J. (2016). ‘Digital by Default’ and ‘the hard to reach’: exploring solutions to digital exclusion in remote rural areas. Local Economy, 31(7), 757-777. DOI: 10.1177/0269094216670938. Copyright © 2016 SAGE. Reprinted by permission of SAGE Publications.
EISSN:
1470-9325
Appears in Collections:
Geography and Development Studies

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorWilliams, Fionaen
dc.contributor.authorPhilip, Lornaen
dc.contributor.authorFarrington, Johnen
dc.contributor.authorFairhurst, Gorryen
dc.date.accessioned2017-06-08T09:55:47Z-
dc.date.available2017-06-08T09:55:47Z-
dc.date.issued2016-09-30-
dc.identifier.citationWilliams, F., Philip, L., Fairhurst, G., & Farrington, J. (2016). ‘Digital by Default’ and ‘the hard to reach’: exploring solutions to digital exclusion in remote rural areas. Local Economy, 31(7), 757-777. DOI: 10.1177/0269094216670938en
dc.identifier.doi10.1177/0269094216670938-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10034/620528-
dc.descriptionWilliams, F., Philip, L., Fairhurst, G., & Farrington, J. (2016). ‘Digital by Default’ and ‘the hard to reach’: exploring solutions to digital exclusion in remote rural areas. Local Economy, 31(7), 757-777. DOI: 10.1177/0269094216670938. Copyright © 2016 SAGE. Reprinted by permission of SAGE Publications.-
dc.description.abstractIn the UK, the geography of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure required for Internet connectivity is such that high speed broadband and mobile phone networks are generally less available in rural areas compared with urban areas or, in other words, as remoteness and population sparsity increase so too does the likelihood of an area having no or very poor broadband connectivity. Against a policy backdrop of UK Government efforts to bring forward network infrastructure upgrades and to improve the accessibility of broadband services in locations where there is a weak commercial investment case, this paper considers the options for the ‘final few’ in the prevailing ‘Digital by Default’ public services context. The paper outlines the Rural Public Access WiFi Services project, a study focused upon enabling Internet connectivity for commercially ‘hard to reach’ rural areas in the UK. The Rural Public Access WiFi Services concept and the experiment are introduced before findings from a pilot deployment of a broadband service to households in a remote rural area, who may be classified as ‘digitally excluded’, are presented. The paper then reflects on our field experiment and the potential of the Rural Public Access WiFi Services model as a solution to overcoming some of the digital participation barriers manifest in the urban–rural divide. Early indications show that the Rural Public Access WiFi Services model has the potential to encourage participation in the Digital Economy and could aid the UK Government’s Digital by Default agenda, although adoption of the model is not without its challenges.en
dc.language.isoenen
dc.publisherSAGEen
dc.relation.urlhttp://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0269094216670938en
dc.rights.urihttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/en
dc.subjectRural broadband infrastructureen
dc.subjectFinal fewen
dc.subjectDigital by Defaulten
dc.subjectHard to reachen
dc.title'Digital by Default' and the 'hard to reach': Exploring solutions to digital exclusion in remote rural areasen
dc.typeArticleen
dc.identifier.eissn1470-9325-
dc.contributor.departmentUniversity of Chester; University of Aberdeenen
dc.identifier.journalLocal Economyen
dc.date.accepted2016-09-30-
or.grant.openaccessYesen
rioxxterms.funderRCUK Digital Economy programme to the dot.rural Digital Economy Huben
rioxxterms.identifier.projectRCUK Digital Economy programme to the dot.rural Digital Economy Hub: EP/G066051/1en
rioxxterms.versionVoRen
rioxxterms.licenseref.startdate2016-09-30-
This item is licensed under a Creative Commons License
Creative Commons
All Items in ChesterRep are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.