A new rural digital divide? Taking stock of geographical digital inclusion in Australia

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Marshall, A
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2023
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This article reflects on and progresses Australian and international debates about the urban–rural digital divide. In commentary style, I draw on my own experience of living in rural Australia and six years of scholarship devoted to understanding digital inclusion in geographically remote communities. The paper is anchored theoretically in global scholarly debates around rural digital inclusion, but also deeply contextualised in the current state of digital infrastructure and capability investment and the lived experiences of people in rural Australia. In tacking stock of the geographical digital divide, I combine findings and vignettes from my published research with the insights of other authors and data from the Australian Digital Inclusion Index. I make observations about the evolution of geographical digital inclusion in Australia focused on three themes: incremental digital development; the complexity and cost of getting connected; and compounding factors of disadvantage. These insights culminate in articulation of an emerging digital divide within rural cohorts.

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Media International Australia

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© The Author(s) 2023. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).

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Screen and digital media

Communication and media studies

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Marshall, A, A new rural digital divide? Taking stock of geographical digital inclusion in Australia, Media International Australia, 2023

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