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|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|4993||2011||11 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Telecommunications Policy, Volume 35, Issue 8, September 2011, Pages 691–701
The diffusion of broadband has gained much research attention, in particular in relation to the urban–rural divide. However, research has focused primarily on the supply side of broadband roll-out, while the demand side has been somewhat neglected. This article illustrates the complexity of broadband adoption and argues that a rural adoption approach needs to draw on existing social meaning systems. By focusing on the user motivation for broadband, this article presents findings from a qualitative study of rural residents. Means-end theory was used as a framework for understanding these motives. Furthermore, the article adapts the FCB grid as a tool for both public and private providers of broadband to examine effective rural promotion strategy.
Broadband is a promising technology for rural areas. Extensive research documents various benefits of broadband, including remote access to health care and education (Jenkins, 2003) as well as expanding the market potential for rural businesses (LaRose, Strover, Straubhaar, & Gregg, 2007). Other studies have shown both social and, in particular, economic benefits of a broadband infrastructure (Ford and Koutsk, 2005, Lee and Yongwoon, 2005 and Varian et al., 2002), which provides the necessary backbone for the network of society (Castells, 2000). Furthermore, research in broadband adoption shows that those who benefit the most from broadband are not limited to previously heavy users but include those in the lowest quintile of usage (Hitt & Tambe, 2007). Despite the obvious benefits and increasing availability in rural areas, adoption among rural residents is still lagging behind that in urban areas (Dijk and Hacker, 2003, Parker, 2000, Peronard and Just, 2008a and Warren, 2007). Therefore, many national and international institutions are actively involved in the problem and have launched various programs to promote the inclusion of broadband in the countryside. Studies have attempted to identify the reasons for the delay in bringing broadband to rural areas and found that it was caused by a number of factors, including not knowing that it can be accessed (Horrigan & Murray, 2006), the cost of switching from narrowband to broadband (Geroski, 2000), and the lack of relevant content (Wilhelm, 2003). In the latter case, encouraging innovative content services has long been argued to be the method for supporting the diffusion of broadband technology (Firth and Mellor, 2005, Papacharissi and Zaks, 2006 and Preston et al., 2007). While many studies have dealt with the infrastructure of broadband in society, placing emphasis on either availability and policy matters or the supply-side issues of broadband (Gorp et al., 2006, Preston et al., 2007 and Strover et al., 2004), fewer have taken a user approach to the demand-side of broadband (Firth and Mellor, 2005, Gurstein, 2003, Peronard and Just, 2008b and Ramírez, 2001). Exceptions are the linking of broadband with demand-side determinants such as income, population density, and educational level (Frieden, 2005 and Grubesic, 2008). However, such a generalized and instrumental perspective on demand-side issues, with its lack of emphasis on people's needs and wants, provides little knowledge of the motivations behind broadband adoption. As such, more attention should be paid to the use and significance of broadband diffusion, particularly in rural areas (LaRose et al., 2007 and Tookey et al., 2006). Arguably, the classical diffusion approach is too simple to account for all of the complexity that surrounds an innovation such as broadband (e.g., Leeuwis, 2004). In fact, research suggests that the penetration and diffusion of broadband is not a consequence of a single action or factor but of the interplay between different factors and approaches (Mahler and Rogers, 1999 and Trkman et al., 2008). Thus, rather than seeing broadband as an instrument for accomplishing specific tasks, more focus should be given to the institutionalized meaning system that surrounds it (Castoriadis, 1984 and Ramírez and Richardson, 2005). Such research needs to customize itself to the qualitative aspect of adoption. Only a few studies have taken a qualitative approach to understanding broadband adoption. For instance, Lawrence Wood studied deployment patterns among telecommunication providers and found that different types of broadband providers are influenced by unique regulations, competitiveness concerns, resource levels, and existing infrastructure conditions (Wood, 2008). In a seminal study of Netville, Berry Wellman researched high-speed connection among residents in a local U.S. community and found that broadband internet supports a variety of social ties (e.g., emotional). Furthermore, they found that local relationships are often sustained through a combination of on- and off-line interaction and that much of the online activity takes place between people who live or work near each other (Hampton & Wellman, 1999). In their comparative case study between South Korea and the United States, Lee and Chan-Olmsted (2004) found the main differences to be grounded in policy supporting technology and consumer demand. However, Wood's (2008) study is supply-side oriented, and the study of Netville involves observing techniques on civic involvement, internet use, and attitudes of residents in order to develop research questions for their survey (Hampton & Wellman, 1999, p. 484). Finally, in the case study, only desk materials of governmental publications, press reports, and online documents were examined (Lee & Chan-Olmsted, 2004). Apparently, little is known about rural people's experience with and understanding of broadband. Consequently, research should examine more closely the qualitative aspects of decisions to adopt broadband to provide new knowledge because “good social marketing begins and ends with the target consumer—the person whose behavior is being influenced” (Andreasen, 1995, p. xii). This article will make people's decision to adopt broadband the primary concern of the study. The research question is as follows: What are the reasons or motivations for people in rural areas to adopt broadband? Because no research currently exists in the field, there is a need for an enriched theoretical approach aimed at empirically examining the relationship between broadband adoption and the interpretation of causes and effects. Furthermore, the attention to the significance of broadband – motivation and needs – is extremely relevant for providers and to some extent policy makers in rural development. Such an understanding provides valuable knowledge for planning how and with what means broadband adoption should be supported at the local level. A second research question is the following: How can knowledge about motivation and needs be utilized in an effort to promote rural broadband? This article extends the existing knowledge by offering a systematic analysis of the user motivation behind the choice of broadband in rural areas. In contrast to previous research, this research aims to provide qualitative insight into peoples' choices through the use of personal interviews. By using this method, it is possible for the informants to articulate more detailed reasons for their choices. In the next section, the theoretical approach called means-end theory is outlined, and the methodological technique known as laddering is described.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Within the marketing discipline, it has long been established that people not only buy products and services for what they do but also for what they mean (Levy, 1959). Consumers are not just rational and economical in their behavior but are perhaps more symbolic and emotional. However, studies of broadband adoption have up until now focused primarily on the functional and tangible aspects of this technology. In contrast to the existing research, this study has examined user motivation for broadband in a rural context. As this study shows, the logic of broadband adoption is visible through at least five interrelated motivation patterns that are not just related to functional and utilitarian values but are also associated with more existential values insofar as broadband provides a means of forming community relations, social transparency, and a sense of belonging. Such an awareness of broadband motives is important because it will enable providers and other agents of change to obtain a better view of the complex situation surrounding broadband adoption. In fact, technology policy and implementation depend heavily on knowledge of such motivations behind the adoption of information technologies among different rural broadband users (Robertson, Soopramanien, & Fildes, 2007). Furthermore, in order to build a strategy for promoting broadband technology, the FCB grid was introduced, and by combining the model's two dimensions, it was possible to suggest four specific promoting strategies. Broadband providers should familiarize themselves with these strategies so that they may promote broadband persuasively. Although this research has provided new knowledge of broadband adoption in rural areas, there is still need for further research in this area, which is suggested by the following limitations of this study. First, this study is not a statistical test, and therefore the sample does not represent a given rural population. Consequently, it will be interesting to conduct a similar study, but with a sample selected on the principle of simple random sampling in order to be able to generalize the results to a rural target population. Furthermore, the motives described in this article are limited for two primary reasons. First, the motives are derived from a group of individuals belonging to the parish of Lydum, who have adopted broadband. Although the study of non-users from the nearby village of Bølling showed no major motivational differences from those of the users, the sample is nevertheless geographically limited, and further research should explore differences in motivation between different rural areas and between rural and urban areas, possibly taking a quantitative perspective. Second, a detailed description of how the concepts and themes identified in this study are translated into effective communication is needed. There is clearly a knowledge gap concerning the effectiveness of promotional messages for rural broadband adoption. Measurements must therefore be conducted to assess the target clients' reaction to the various promotional strategies.