Broadband cables

Image: Jim (Flickr)

The NBN and Australia's Digital Divide

22nd June 2017

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Prior to joining RegNet as a Research Fellow, Ashley completed her doctoral thesis in Population Health at the University of Ottawa on international trade and investment agreements and health, exploring the role of transnational corporations and international investment law.

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The National Broadband Network (NBN) is widely considered to be failing Australians, but it isn’t failing them equally.

Research undertaken at the Centre for Research Excellence in the Social Determinants of Health Equity seeks to address health inequities by looking at the geographical distribution of infrastructure, including digital technology.

Examining the rollout of NBN technologies as of December 2016, preliminary analyses suggest areas of greatest socio-economic disadvantage overlap with regions typically receiving NBN infrastructure of poorer quality.

RegNet’s Ashley Schram explains how a faster internet connection is increasingly central to people’s social connections, education opportunities, employment prospects and ability to access services.

When populations already facing disadvantage receive poorer quality digital infrastructure, those with the greatest need will continue to slip farther behind.

Read the full article in The Conversation here.

Listen to Dr Schram’s interview with ABC Radio Sydney here at 38-49 minutes.

Coverage of the article by The New Daily includes further comment by Dr Schram.

Updated:  10 August 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director, RegNet/Page Contact:  Director, RegNet