Hi Rae, thanks for drawing attention to the flaws in the current plans for the NBN. I have recently had a few chats with varying people about the personal experiences with accessing technology, and your post pretty much sums it up.
The thing that concerns me about the idea of just improving the quality of technology, is that all it does is increase the divide and does nothing to fix it. It doesn’t make it more affordable, it doesn’t (necessarily) put it in more locations, it doesn’t make it easier to use or more versatile for specific user capabilities.
I think it’s a case of decision makers looking no further than their back yard when they are making decisions that effects everybody – even those who choose not to use digital technologies are implicated in it.
I think that providing access (in whatever way that is for the user) through public libraries can be really helpful for decreasing the divide. I am excited that you have taken an interest in this area and I look forward to chatting with you about your research next year.