Broadband as Civic Infrastructure - The Australian Case

14 Pages Posted: 26 Feb 2014

See all articles by Ian McShane

Ian McShane

RMIT University - Centre for Urban Research

Denise Meredyth

RMIT University - Centre for Urban Research

Christopher Wilson

RMIT University - Centre for Urban Research

Date Written: January 26, 2014

Abstract

Australian municipal governments have lagged behind many of their international counterparts in local public broadband provision. However, by 2013 there are clear signs that the gap is closing, with a significant upsurge of investment in public Wi-Fi by city governments across Australia. This article contextualises current interest in public Wi-Fi by analysing international developments in municipal broadband and the spasmodic involvement of Australian local authorities in this field. We argue that the rhetoric of broadband as a ‘fourth utility’ unduly prioritises the role of higher governments in Australia, constraining a full exploration of how broadband might be imagined as a form of civic infrastructure.

Keywords: broadband, public wi-fi, local governance, community wireless, urban management, Australia

Suggested Citation

McShane, Ian and Meredyth, Denise and Wilson, Christopher, Broadband as Civic Infrastructure - The Australian Case (January 26, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2401477 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2401477

Ian McShane (Contact Author)

RMIT University - Centre for Urban Research ( email )

124 La Trobe Street
Melbourne, 3000
Australia

Denise Meredyth

RMIT University - Centre for Urban Research ( email )

124 La Trobe St
GPO Box 2476
Melbourne, Victoria 3001
Australia

Christopher Wilson

RMIT University - Centre for Urban Research ( email )

124 La Trobe St
GPO Box 2476
Melbourne, Victoria 3001
Australia

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