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Title: The digital lottery : the impact of next generation broadband on rural small and micro businesses in the North East of Scotland
Author: Palmer-Abbs, Megan
ISNI:       0000 0004 7228 6925
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2017
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Despite policy rhetoric of the importance of digital access and associated Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) for businesses, many rural businesses remain underserved by their broadband service. Next Generation Broadband, sometimes referred to as Superfast Broadband, through commercial investment, predominantly reaches those in high population density areas. The BDUK NGB programme seeks to readdress this digital divide. This publicly funded technology project seeks to upgrade existing fixed telecommunication networks with NGB technology, thus improving rural digital connectivity for community and businesses alike. The value of small and micro businesses to the rural economy goes without saying, yet many remain underserved, or digitally excluded, from modern day business due to inadequate digital access. This doctoral thesis has followed the deployment of the NGB fixed telecommunication upgrades in the North East of Scotland, seeking to observe the changes in the technology as 'it happened' and the implications for Rural Small and Micro Business practices. The case study area included areas of accessible and remote rural classifications to establish how digital inclusion was developed. The research has specifically sought to observe businesses prior to the NGB deployment, track changes over the duration of this project, and ascertain the impact post deployment on business digital capabilities. The key findings established that the NGB deployment programme, due to a post code led approach, has significant gaps in meeting the digital needs of these rural businesses. It established that being geographically remote, does not always constitute being digitally remote, and as result of the tracking of broadband capabilities in the businesses, identified five new typologies and associated scenario outcomes which describes the current rural digital landscape and the ramifications of this on these rural businesses.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: British Telecom
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Broadband communication systems ; Small business