Rural infrastructure development as a staged model - A roadmap to new rural infrastructure


Access to broadband telecommunication infrastructure is equally important for rural and urban areas. In urban areas market forces ensures access to a number of service providers. In many rural areas this is not the case. Local actors need to develop their own infrastructure.

This paper explores the relevance of an American model for infrastructure development in a rural Norwegian context, and how local stakeholders have promoted development of broadband access in the Sogn og Fjordane region over the last 10 years.We examine different stages in development processes and the reflexive nature of the process to create sustainable broadband coverage.

Our conclusion is that the model is relevant and applicable in our context and the model seems to be a relevant and a useful references model both for the local entrepreneurs on how to proceed, and to local and regional authorities and the business community that might be asked for contributions. The model describes a path of development that allows local and regional initiative to aggregate and grow.

The nature of the development is reflexive involving learning from past experience and taking in global change forces. Our suggestion is that in order to ensure implementation of broadband infrastructure in rural regions, there need to be a reflexive process between the involved actors. In planning the initiative it is important to have a reflexive plan, taking in local context, local feedback and learning and global change forces.

I: Norsk konferanse for organisasjoners bruk av informasjonsteknologi, NOKOBIT 2010
Høgskolen i Gjøvik 22. – 24. november 2010