Dynamics of Digital Diffusion and Disadoption

A longitudinal analysis of Indigenous and other Australians

  • Boyd H Hunter
  • Peter J Radoll
Keywords: digital divide, diffusion, anti-diffusion, internet access, Information and communications technology, adoption, disadoption


The digital divide between Indigenous and other Australians describes the unequal access to information and communications technology (ICT) between these groups. Historically, researchers have focused on acquiring new technology, but we argue that it is important to understand all the dynamics of digital usage, including the loss of access to ICT within a household. For long-lived technology such as internet access, it is particularly important to consider that retention of access to the technology. This paper conducts a longitudinal analysis of changes in internet usage for Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australian households using the Australian Census Longitudinal Dataset, 2006–2016. While earlier work analyses the digital divide in terms of ‘diffusion’ or adoption of ICT, this paper shows that the failure to retain internet access is also important in driving the digital divide. The dynamics of the digital divide have important and ongoing implications for addressing broader socioeconomic disadvantages experienced by Indigenous Australians. The COVID-19 pandemic underscores the urgency of policy addressing the digital divide, given the renewed momentum for remote learning and telecommuting.

Author Biographies

Boyd H Hunter
Boyd Hunter is Senior Fellow at the Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research, Australian National University.
Peter J Radoll
Peter Radoll is Dean of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Leadership and Strategy and Professor of Information Technology, University of Canberra. 


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How to Cite
Hunter, B. H., & Radoll, P. J. (2020). Dynamics of Digital Diffusion and Disadoption : A longitudinal analysis of Indigenous and other Australians. Australasian Journal of Information Systems, 24. https://doi.org/10.3127/ajis.v24i0.1805
Research Articles