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New reports from the Communications Policy and Research Forum

12 December, 2011
By Allison Orr

The Record from the largest annual gathering of communications knowledge in Australia, the Communications and Policy Research Forum, is now available online.

This volume includes more than 30 papers providing in depth analysis, criticism and research by professional researchers and practitioners on the state of the media, telecommunications and the Internet, much of it with a specifically Australian focus.  I have highlighted one of the papers below:


Digital inclusion in the broadband world: challenges for Australia, Don Perlgut

This paper has finds that a potential digital inclusion gap is looming in Australia, and that concerted efforts are required to ensure that poor, remote and vulnerable communities in Australia are not excluded.  It argues that the issue of digital divide has slipped from the public radar in recent years, as there is the assumption that the NBN will connect us all.  However, says Perlgut, even under the NBN, Internet access will still require money, technical expertise and digital literacy to gain and maintain that access.  Australians most at risk of digital inclusion are poor, indigenous, elderly, disabled or those living in rural or remote areas of Australia.  The paper discusses these issues.

See also the latest ABS statistics for household Internet use, which show that income and education are still major factors influencing Internet access.

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