Open Conference Systems, Catac 2016

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THE RISE AND RISE OF MOBILE TECHNOLOGY IN THE REMOTE INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES OF FAR NORTH AUSTRALIA
Laurel Evelyn Dyson, Fiona Brady

Last modified: 2016-06-11

Abstract


Some of the most remote Indigenous communities in Australia have participated in a phenomenal technological revolution since the coming of mobile phone networks in 2003. We trace this journey in four communities in Cape York and the Torres Strait Islands, from the first 2G network, to 3G, and finally mobile broadband, looking at its impact on communication, service provision and multimedia and Internet access. In order to explain the phenomenon, features of mobile technology were first analyzed for their consistency with traditional Indigenous culture. However, it soon became clear that mobile technology satisfied basic human needs for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous residents of the region. We concluded that aspects of the design of the technology contributed to this, including the pre-paid, portable, personal and flexible nature of the devices.

Keywords


mobile phones, mobile broadband, Indigenous people, remote regions

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