Future of Regional Australia in the Age of Broadband Telecommunication Network

Joe Anyanwu

    Research output: Other contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


    What defines a regional community, and how does broadband technology enhance or disrupt such sense of community? The introduction of new technology has the potential to fundamentally change a service market and the way people behave and share sense of identity (C. M. Christensen, Horn, & Johnson, 2008). It also forces organisations to decide if and when to integrate new technologies into their system (Padgett & Mulvey, 2007, pp. 375-376); (Rao, Angelov, & Nov, 2006); (Lucas Jr & Goh, 2009). According to Castells (2009, p. 304), “the instrumental capacity of the nation state is decisively undermined by the globalisation of core economic activities, by the globalisation of media and electronic communication”. Such new communication technologies transgress geopolitical boundaries and create complex narratives in the definition of regions and nation states, plus a shift away from the local to the global (Kofman, 2008, p. 21). Regional Councillors are often at odds with trying to sell regions as unique, while at the same time justify why regions should also invest in disruptive technologies, which could challenge such uniqueness. In their study of regional and urban service delivery, Bamberry and Dale (2009) identified disparities in access to high quality telecommunications for regional as against urban cities. Ahrend, Farchy, Kaplanis, and Lembcke (2014, p. 5), pointed out that the economic productivity of a city increases with its population size. In a US study of broadband adoptions, Larose, Strover, Gregg, and Straubhaar (2011, p. 92) observed that “older, less educated, lower income residents are more common in rural communities, and these are groups with low levels of broadband adoption”. It was also noted that the ‘productivity of a given individual increases with the size of the city in which they work’. Such disparity aligns with what Park (1999, p. 85) regards ‘as an eternal dependent relationship between the centre and periphery’. Doreen Massey (2005) however argues that ‘the really serious question which should be raised is not whether space will be annihilated, but what kinds of multiplicities and relationships will be coconstructed as a result” (M. Christensen, Jansson, & Christensen, 2011, p. 3). The National Broadband Network in Australia (NBN), has been regarded as the panacea for the above challenges, as well as the key to future regional development. But the question is whether regional communities are ready and aware of the ubiquitous nature of NBN in changing their way of life and regional identities. How does regional Australia utilise NBN to create a sustainable community while maintaining regional identity? This paper uses Castells (2009) theory of Identity, and C. M. Christensen (1997) theory of 93 disruptive technology, to interrogate the impact of broadband in regional Australia. It is expected that such findings will help us redefine regionalism in a technological age; have a better understanding of how disruptive technology helps to shape the future of regional Australia. It will also enable us understand how the new configurations will reflect or refract memories of regionalism?
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 2016
    EventIAMCR 2016 - University of Leicester, Leicester, United Kingdom
    Duration: 26 Jul 201630 Jul 2016


    ConferenceIAMCR 2016
    Abbreviated titleMemory, Commemoration and Communication: Looking Back, Looking Forward
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
    Internet address


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