Striving for Digital Connectivity: Digital Equality Making a World of Difference to Regional Queensland

Striving for Digital Connectivity

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Striving for Digital Connectivity

11 June 2020

Striving for Digital Connectivity: Digital Equality Making a World of Difference to Regional Queensland

Prof Hurriyet Babacan (JCU -RECoE)

Prof Jim Cavaye (UTas)

Saleena Ham (USQ)

Moderator: Trudi Bartlett (Director, RDA DD & SW)

If the COVID 19 pandemic has taught us anything it is the importance of digital connectivity. Only within the Rural Economies Centre of Excellence (RECoE) collaboration can you find two in-depth studies on such an important topic - that of digital connectivity in regional and remote areas of Australia.

CONNECTIVITY AND INCLUSION IN FAR NORTH QUEENSLAND'S AGRICULTURAL COMMUNITIES is a study that commenced in 2018, with funding from the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN), RECoE and James Cook University researchers Allan Dale and Hurriyet Babacan partnered with Northern Gulf Resource Management Group to complete three-week-long data field trips to towns and properties across the Gulf Savannah. The second research project Central Western Queensland Digital Connectivity Project Assessment of Social and Economic Impacts - started in 2016 and completed in 2019 and was led by Professor Jim Cavaye in conjunction with Saleena Ham and Michael Erdiaw-Kwasie. The project and subsequent report describes the results of research on the social and economic impacts of digital connection in remote communities in far western Queensland – Jundah, Stonehenge, Windorah in the Barcoo Shire; and Birdsville and Bedourie in the Diamantina Shire.

Researchers attended and presented at rural events, undertook interviews and focus groups, and conducted three case studies of cattle properties. These activities provided real-world context for the policy analysis undertaken. The Far North Queensland study looks at cross-level, cross-sector policy analysis was undertaken to determine the laws and strategies that impact rural and remote internet access, reliability and affordability, along with digital ability and capacity building frameworks. The Central Western project takes a more longitudinal approach with assessment of social and economic impacts these impacts was made in 2016 (prior to fast internet and mobile phone connection), in 2017 (one year after connection) and in 2019 (2.5 years after connection).

Join the key investigators from both projects for a discussion on regional digital connectivity and what it now means in a post-COVID environment.

 

Professor Jim Cavaye's presentation can be viewed here

WEBINAR PART A: Intro & Prof Hurriyet Babacan, Far North Queensland Digital Connectivity study

PART B  Prof Jim Cavaye & Saleena Ham: Central West Queensland Digital Connectivity