• Beyond Infrastructure: Broadband for Development in Remote and Indigenous Regions

      Hudson, Heather E. (Rural Development Institute, Brandon University., 2013)
      Recent telecommunications stimulus projects in the U.S. and Canada were intended to increase availability of broadband through funding infrastructure investments, largely in rural and remote regions. However, true access involves more than availability; it also includes affordability and adoption. This paper presents a framework for analyzing broadband adoption that takes into consideration geographical, economic and cultural environments in indigenous communities. It includes an overview of potential social and economic impacts of broadband in remote areas, using examples from the Alaska study and the Canadian North. It then reports on results of an evaluation of Internet use and potential adoption of broadband in remote indigenous communities of southwest Alaska. Finally, the paper provides a comparative analysis of U.S. and Canadian policies intended to achieve affordable access to broadband for rural users and sustainable business models for rural broadband providers.