Enabling Sustainable Broadband Adoption in Rural Areas: A Case Study of Information Network Villages in South Korea

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    Due to distance and low density, rural areas are often disadvantaged in getting access to telecommunication
    infrastructures. Hence rural digital divide policies tend to focus on providing access. While narrowing the access gap
    has been largely effective in developed countries, it is what happens after getting access that is more important than
    connectivity itself. Connectivity must be followed by effective utilisation of the technologies in order for it to be
    beneficial to individuals and communities. This study examines South Korea’s Information Network Village
    (INVIL) project as an exemplary policy of sustainable broadband adoption in rural areas. The program was designed
    to narrow the digital divide between urban and rural areas, create new sources of revenue and to build sustainable
    rural communities. Due to this multi-layered and long-term approach, the villages have been successful in narrowing
    the digital divide, not only in terms of access but also in effectively utilising broadband to enhance the local
    economy and build cohesive communities. The outcome of the program was evaluated based on the policy
    framework. Then a case study of three INVILs was conducted to provide an in-depth assessment of the program’s
    outcome. The unique feature of the program is that it emphasises investment in human capital rather than
    infrastructure and includes a long-term vision for each local community. This motivates local residents to be active
    participants in the program. Beyond the provision of high-speed networks, continuous programs that are tailored to
    local needs are necessary in order to facilitate sustainable broadband adoption.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the Emerging Issues in Communication Research and Policy Conference, 2013
    EditorsJulie Freeman
    Place of PublicationCanberra, ACT
    PublisherNews Media Research Centre
    Number of pages11
    ISBN (Electronic)9781740883870
    ISBN (Print)9781740883863
    Publication statusPublished - 2013
    EventEmerging Issues in Communication Research and Policy Conference - University of Canberra, Canberra, Australia
    Duration: 18 Nov 201319 Nov 2013


    ConferenceEmerging Issues in Communication Research and Policy Conference


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