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Understanding the drivers of broadband adoption: the case of rural and remote Scotland

Howick, S.M. and Whalley, J.L. (2008) Understanding the drivers of broadband adoption: the case of rural and remote Scotland. Journal of the Operational Research Society, 59 (10). pp. 1299-1311. ISSN 0160-5682

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Broadband has been described as a transforming technology and is now widely available in many developed countries. However, broadband availability is not the same as broadband adoption. If the socio-economic benefits of broadband are to be realized, then adoption needs to be both understood and encouraged. This is particularly important in rural and remote areas. This paper explores the factors that drive broadband adoption in one particular rural and remote area; rural and remote Scotland. A causal model and a quantitative simulation model are developed indicating how the various drivers of adoption interact with one another. Both models show that past policy initiatives have impacted on the rate of adoption. However, the greatest impact could be achieved if future policy initiatives target those people who show no interest in adopting broadband. The paper concludes by suggesting that this work has implications for rural and remote areas all around the world.