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ECU to research Mid West Broadband uptake

Friday, 08 October 2010


The National Broadband Network initiative, announced in April 2009 by the Australian Government aims to provide 93 per cent of Australian homes, schools and workplaces with access to super-fast broadband, delivering speeds of up to 100 megabits per second.

In light of this initiative, researchers from Edith Cowan University (ECU) are working on a joint study with the Mid West Development Commission (MWDC) to investigate the particular issues involved in rural adoption of broadband. Initially looking at the community of Morawa, the research will then be extended to the nearby City of Geraldton-Greenough.

Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Business and Law, Dr Phil Dobson, believes the study is particularly timely with the laying of fibre optic cable from Perth to Geraldton well underway.

“This fibre optic cable will allow the use of super fast broadband in the region. To understand what factors might prevent its adoption by local residents, communities and businesses, we’ll be interviewing existing users (and non-users) of currently available broadband.” says Dr Dobson.

Following the study, researchers hope to analyse the local inhibitors to broadband uptake, work with the MWDC to develop strategies to demonstrate the value of these technologies for rural residents and then encourage their uptake in affected rural communities.

“The economic and social benefits of broadband are well recognised, so anything we can do to support community adoption is an exciting and worthwhile project for us", said Dr Dobson.

Individuals, community groups and business participants are needed to take part in one-on-one or focus group interviews to determine their current and potential use of broadband.

If you would like to take part in the research or would like further information please contact Dr. Zane D'Mello on 0409 212 329 or via email on

ECU Researchers for the study include Dr Phil Dobson, Dr Paul Jackson and Dr Denise Gengatharen from the Faculty of Business and Law’s School of Management who will work closely with staff from industry partner MWDC.

The six-month project will get underway in October 2010.

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