From the horse and cart to the internet: A century of rural connectivity change in rural Western Australia
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© 2017 Societe Geographique de Liege. All rights reserved. The challenges of remoteness and lack of accessibility/connectivity in regional Western Australia have been compounded by rapid changes in transport and communication technologies which can render pre-existing and expensive infrastructure obsolete. The railway network and system of town sites/service centres developed for the state's wheat belt up to the 1930s became partially redundant following the development of mechanised road transport. Similarly, 'outback' mining towns have now been largely replaced by fly in fly out (FIFO) operations. Against this background, we present the findings of a review of the state's Community Resource Centre (CRC) network. These Centres were first established in the 1990s to assist rural dwellers who, for various reasons, lacked adequate or appropriate internet access. Notwithstanding the revolutionary changes in internet use and coverage in recent decades, this survey of 93 CRCs found that they continue to provide a valuable community service, especially for those who, for reasons of age, finance or inadequate broadband coverage, remain on the wrong side of the digital divide.