Arctic Connectivity: A Frugal Approach to Infrastructural Development
As the Arctic is heating up, so are efforts to strengthen connectivity within the region, enhance the connections from remote settlements to the global networks of trade, and increase sociality. With global interest in the Arctic on the rise, it becomes increasingly relevant to ensure that investments in Arctic infrastructure actually serve the people of the Arctic, while promoting industrial and commercial innovation in the region through widespread access to broadband and Internet of things (IoT) services. This challenge calls for interdisciplinary research strategies that are able to connect and integrate technological and societal approaches, which are commonly applied in isolation from one another. In this article, we propose an interdisciplinary collaborative research agenda for Arctic connectivity. Drawing on examples from Greenland, we stress the need for localized knowledge to design valuable and cost-effective connectivity solutions that cover the needs for everyday life and may also provide a new set of collaborative connectivity tools for innovation at an international level. Such solutions, termed “frugal connectivity,” are vital for the development of connected Arctic communities.
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