Closing the digital gap for remote first nations communities: 5G and beyond?

Closing the digital gap for remote first nations communities: 5G and beyond? Journal Article

Media International Australia

  • Author(s): Featherstone, Daniel, Thomas, Julian, Holcombe-James, Indigo, Ormond-Parker, Lyndon

Abstract: 5G is described as a step change in mobile delivery. While it has the potential to provide significant benefits to remote First Nations communities and homelands in Australia, the current market-driven model of 5G deployment building outward from urban and regional centres risks increasing existing digital inequalities. A new Closing the Gap target aimed at digital equity for First Nations people by 2026 provides a critical lens to assess the impact of new technologies on digital inclusion for vulnerable populations. This article draws on findings and case studies from the Mapping the Digital Gap research to analyse the potential benefits, risks and limitations of 5G in closing the digital gap across remote Australia. Alternative communications solutions combined with co-design principles may be more effective in addressing remote First Nations communities’ needs. The authors call for more holistic policy and targeted programs to improve digital inclusion for remote First Nations people.

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Featherstone, Daniel, Thomas, Julian, Holcombe-James, Indigo, Ormond-Parker, Lyndon, , Closing the digital gap for remote first nations communities: 5G and beyond?, Journal Article, viewed 13 July 2024, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=42723.

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