The Ecology of Broadband Enabled Technologies: A Case for Wellington County

Halder, Wilson
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University of Guelph

This study explores the role of broadband enabled information and communication technologies (ICTs) and its impact on Wellington County’s agricultural-food sector for individual farm families and healthcare programming found in telehealth. Using an exploratory, qualitative approach, the objective seeks to investigate and understand the gap in broadband adoption practices, its realization and ultimately its strengths and short comings to provide internet connectivity and document these experiences and perceptions. Research findings indicate an overwhelming interest for acquiring access to connectivity for improving livelihoods socially and economically. However the lack of readily available standardized service provision and a lack of locally driven innovation in its use only served to perpetuate the digital divide. Through the use of a framework based on the information, communication and innovation ecologies, this study suggests the need for proactive policies and actions to increase the responsiveness of broadband use into marginalized communities to help establish digital inclusion.

Broadband, deployment, internet, internet-enabled devices, ICTs, mobile healthcare, telemedicine, telehealth, agri-food, agriculture