Focusing on non-adopters of broadband: A critical realist perspectiveFocusing on non-adopters of broadband: A critical realist perspective

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Australian Conference on Information Systems (ACIS)

Place of Publication



School of Business and Law




Jackson, P., Dobson, P., & Gengatheren, D. (2016). Focusing on non-adopters of broadband: A critical realist perspective. In Proceedings of the 27th Australasian Conference on Information Systems 5th - 7th December, 2016. University of Wollongong.


Australia is conducting a substantial nationwide implementation of broadband. It is primarily a fixed line network but includes wireless and satellite networks in more remote areas. The rollout is under the control of the NBN Co, whose goal is ensuring access to fast broadband for all Australians. Their key performance indicators are the number of serviceable and activated premises. Recent reports indicate activation rates for fixed line broadband are exceeding expectations, despite increased competition from mobile connections. Whilst this is good news, international experience suggests adoption will plateau. We contend that there needs to be more focus on those disenchanted or disinterested “non-users” who are never likely to adopt. We argue for a critical realist perspective to better represent the adoption context and to provide a grounding for explanations of the causes behind such decisions. We also propose possible common-sense strategies to reverse non-adoption.

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