Broadband as Civic Infrastructure - The Australian Case
14 Pages Posted: 26 Feb 2014
Date Written: January 26, 2014
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
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