‘Stuck Out Here’: The Critical Role of Broadband for Remote Rural Places

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In a rapidly evolving digital society, broadband connectivity is increasingly critical. Everyday experiences are mediated by technology, be they related to work, education, leisure or health care; technology impacts at many levels. Access to broadband Internet is considered to be essential to contemporary society. Despite this growing recognition, broadband access is still not
ubiquitous across all of the UK, with access being particularly problematic in remote rural areas. This paper considers the role of broadband in the economic and social sustainability of remote rural places. During research which explored the use of broadband and its applications amongst small rural business owners located across rural Scotland, qualitative in-depth interviews explored how interviewees used the Internet in the development of and sustainability of their
business activities as well as exploring other forms of use such as those relating to education, leisure and social participation. The findings reveal how broadband access and use can impact on rural business owners, and subsequently contribute to the sustainability of life in remote rural Scotland.
KEY WORDS: broadband, remote, rural, Scotland, economic, social, sustainability
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-180
Number of pages10
JournalScottish Geographical Journal
Issue number3-4
Early online date4 Feb 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

This research is supported by the award made by the RCUK Digital Economy theme to the dot.rural Digital Economy Hub, award reference: EP/G066051/1.


  • broadband
  • remote
  • rural
  • Scotland
  • economic
  • social sustainability


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