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What will decent broadband bring to regional communities?

Kim Houghton

While there is some disagreement between the Labor and Liberal parties in relation to how high speed broadband should be rolled out across Australia, they both agree that they will subsidise this important infrastructure. Both parties have made this promise on the basis that it will give an economic boost to regions, as well as improving the efficiency of service delivery. Is there any evidence for this?

Firstly, better connectivity is a two way street – likely to bring both winners and losers. The ‘high speed’ tag for internet traffic reminds me of road traffic, and I get the sense that digital capacity is bringing the same challenges to local economies that sealed roads did in the 1960s and 1970s. Everybody wants the roads improved, but the improvements inadvertently helped retail and service consolidation in centres and reduced the diversity of small town main streets.

The digital capability jump is…

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