Category Archives: Research

OECD: Bridging the digital gender divide

While digital technologies offer leapfrog opportunities and help empower women, gender-based digital exclusion remains widespread and has many causes. The report Bridging the Digital Divide: Include, Upskill, Innovate is an effort by the OECD, working with the G20, that aims to provide policy directions for consideration by all governments. It analyses a range of drivers at the root of the digital gender divide in order to draw attention to critical areas for policy action.
<http://www.oecd.org/going-digital/bridging-the-digital-gender-divide-key-messages.pdf> – key messages
<http://www.oecd.org/going-digital/bridging-the-digital-gender-divide.pdf> – full report

Time constructs: Discursive temporality in the future Internet

Abstract: Critical theorists from Scott Lash to Trebor Scholz, software studies adherents such as Alex Galloway, sociologists including Manuel Castells, and science and technology studies (STS) theorist Judy Wajcman — among others — have pointed out that the mobility, speed, responsiveness, and increasingly real-time characteristics of computer and application interfaces have a great deal to do with the social, economic, and political structure of contemporary society.

What these fields leave relatively undertheorized can best be phrased as a question: How is technology is developed in relation to concepts of time and temporality? This paper supplies an answer, derived from interview and document data regarding a real-time videoconferencing application named Flume, which runs on Named Data Networking (NDN), a NSF-funded Future Internet Architecture (FIA) project that is currently underway.
http://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/8644

OECD Reviews of Digital Transformation: Going Digital in Sweden OECD

OECD Reviews of Digital Transformation: Going Digital in Sweden analyses recent developments of the digital economy in the country, reviews policies related to digitalisation and makes recommendations to increase policy coherence in this area. The report examines recent developments in infrastructures for the digital economy, telecom markets and related regulations and policies in Sweden. It reviews trends in the use of digital technologies by individuals, businesses and the government, and examines policies to foster diffusion. Digital security policies are discussed with a view to assess its strengths and limitations.

The report also examines opportunities and challenges raised by digitalisation in key areas and analyses policy responses to these changes. The areas covered range from global value chains and innovation to jobs, skills and work in the digital economy. The report reconsiders these policies in relation to their coherence among different domains and in order to foster synergies across government ministries, levels and institutions, based on the policy framework of the OECD-wide “Going Digital: Making the Transformation Work for Growth and Well-being” project.
https://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/science-and-technology/oecd-reviews-of-digital-transformation-going-digital-in-sweden_9789264302259-en

Consumer policy and the smart home

The “smart home” looks set to be the arena in which many people will utilise consumer-facing Internet of Things (IoT) technologies for the first time. A new generation of familiar household devices and appliances (e.g. washing machines) are becoming “smart” through the addition of sensors, software and Internet connections. They are entering the home alongside innovative IoT era devices (e.g. smart speakers) – often integrating with them to form smart residential systems (e.g. relating to energy, entertainment and home security).

This report outlines the key consumer benefits and risks associated with Internet of Things (IoT) devices in the “smart home”. The benefits include convenience, customisation and control. However, there are potential risks for smart home residents such as data privacy and cybersecurity threats, limitations on interoperability, the need for lifetime product support, complex supply chains and liability regimes, and product safety.
https://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/science-and-technology/consumer-policy-and-the-smart-home_e124c34a-en

Bridging the digital gender divide

New digital tools are empowering, and can serve to support a new source of inclusive global economic growth. Now is the time to step up the efforts and take advantage of the digital transformation to ensure that it represents a leapfrog opportunity for women and a chance to build a more inclusive digital world.

Read the first findings of the forthcoming report Empowering Women in the Digital Age. This represents a preliminary effort by the OECD, working with the G20, to broaden the evidence base to better understand the position of women in the economy and society that is being transformed by digital technologies.
http://www.oecd.org/going-digital/

OECD: Bridging the rural digital divide

This document examines recent policy and technology approaches to bridging the digital divide in rural and remote areas in OECD countries. First, it discusses issues related to assessing broadband gaps, defining speeds and establishing national targets. Second, it describes policies being implemented to improve both access and uptake, such as fostering competition, promoting national, rural and community-led broadband initiatives, supporting open access policies and reducing deployment costs.

Finally, it briefly reviews technological developments that are likely to influence the provision of services in underserved areas. Experience in OECD countries with fibre optics, coaxial cable, copper, fixed and mobile wireless, satellites and hybrid approaches, as well as with emerging technologies, are used to illustrate some of the technological trends discussed. This document also includes a summary of common challenges and good practices to bring improved communication services to individuals and communities in rural and remote areas.
http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/science-and-technology/bridging-the-rural-digital-divide_852bd3b9-en

OECD broadband statistics update – Mobile termination rates drop 42% in three years in advanced economies

Mobile termination rates – the rates operators charge each other to connect calls – dropped by an average of 42% in OECD countries between end-2014 and end-2017 as a result of increased regulation and competition, according to new data released by the OECD.

Termination rates fell across the board in the OECD area over the three years – ultimately benefitting consumers – with the sharpest reductions in Mexico (-84%), Hungary (-80%) and Ireland (-73%). Termination rates are highest in Switzerland, whereas in the United States a new system (bill-and-keep) introduced for mobile carriers has reduced rates to zero.
http://www.oecd.org/sti/broadband/broadband-statistics-update.htm

The evolving role of satellite networks in rural and remote broadband access

Satellites serve as an important option to deliver broadband services to residences and businesses in rural and remote regions throughout the world. In OECD countries, the majority of people live in urban areas or at locations that are closely settled enough to use other broadband access technologies on a cost effective basis.

Satellite technology, however, is deploying several significant innovations that result in improved services and may radically change the costs of providing satellite broadband. The purpose of this report is to describe these key recent developments based upon new and anticipated satellite broadband deployments, and discuss their implications for the future use of satellites to deliver broadband services to residential and business users. The report investigates how innovation is changing the role of satellites in extending broadband services to underserved areas in relation to other broadband options and important policy challenges to be considered in light of such innovation.
http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/science-and-technology/the-evolving-role-of-satellite-networks-in-rural-and-remote-broadband-access_7610090d-en

A comparison of Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn: Examining motivations and network externalities for the use of social networking sites

Abstract: Although the winner-takes-all approach is often theorized in the use of an information communication technology, more than one popular social networking site exists in the market. Integrating uses and gratification (U&G) theory with network externalities, this study examines why social networking sites can coexist in the market and whether predictors of using social networking sites differ across popular social networking sites.

Three separate surveys were conducted for Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. The results show that motivations for using each SNS differ; these motives exert a greater influence on SNS use than network externalities for all three SNSs.
http://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/8066

Canada Should Heed US Lessons in Foreign Social Media Interference

Recently, lawyers from three tech giants — Facebook, Twitter and Google — testified before congress about how Russian operations manipulated their platforms during and after last year’s contentious presidential election.

The congressional hearings largely dealt with the question of what role these American companies should serve in safeguarding American democracy from foreign interference, and whether government regulation is required. But they should also raise concerns for Canada as it faces another round of provincial and federal elections in the next two years.
https://www.cigionline.org/articles/canada-should-heed-us-lessons-foreign-social-media-interference