This paper compares the awareness, take-up and use of information and communication technologies in an 'accessible' rural region with that in a 'remote' rural region and assesses the implications for policy. Data are drawn from a survey of small businesses in south Warwickshire and north Lancashire. The findings reveal the overall adoption of information and communication technologies, both basic and advanced, to be low, but especially low in north Lancashire compared with south Warwickshire. The reasons for these patterns are explored. In general, the low take-up rates are a function of a combination of factors: infrastructure; business size; the cost, complexity and relevance of the technology; awareness and training; whilst the observed differences between the two regions reflect differences in business culture. The policy implications of these findings are discussed. It is advocated that local policy intervention is necessary to take account of the differences that exist between rural areas.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science