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Tsunami alert : the difference a phone makes

By Amanda H. A. Watson


As a new communication technology expands in a disadvantaged, rural area of a developing country, this process of change can radically affect the quality and volume of available information. Substantial growth has occurred in the telecommunication sector in Papua New Guinea (PNG) in the last three years. Mobile telephony is rapidly rolling out to rural and remote localities, following decades of inadequate service provision. The paper examines the introduction of mobile telephones into a rural village in PNG, and focuses on an example of changed information access afforded by the mobile telephone, through comparing the village’s experience of two tsunami alerts: one immediately prior to the introduction of mobile phone services in the area, and the other two years after mobile phone reception became available. The research demonstrates a key application of newly introduced information and communication technologies - to benefit disadvantaged, rural communities in emergency situations

Topics: 190200 FILM TELEVISION AND DIGITAL MEDIA, 190300 JOURNALISM AND PROFESSIONAL WRITING, communication, Papua New Guinea, information, knowledge, media, telephony, telephone, Internet
Year: 2010
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