This paper seeks to present a case study of a rural Do It Yourself (DIY) Information and Communication Technology (ICT) project in a Japanese depopulated rural community.
The paper consists of two parts. First, the technology that enables the project is presented together with policy considerations about why such a technology had to be deployed. An analysis of the results from surveys and interviews is then presented.
In order to achieve sustainable development of a rural ICT project, which is the key to enabling economic development, it is essential to involve residents' participation. A test‐bed DIY project was constructed in a Japanese rural community in 2004, and surveys were conducted in 2004 and 2006 in order to identify residents' needs and awareness of ICT, determine the information literacy level, and evaluate the attitude toward the acceptance of ICT. Also, individual interviews were conducted to look at the qualitative side of residents' perceptions. In general, the residents were found to be indifferent as far as the statistical significance is concerned. However, insights from individual interviews disclosed some useful factors about how to tackle the digital divide in modern society, including the usefulness of DIY in ICT.
The findings, based on analysis of a unique DIY ICT project, will be of value to operators and regulators.
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