This academic year, Dr. Erezi Ruth Ogbo will join ARNIC as a postdoctoral associate researcher. She will be working with Professor Hernan Galperin and Professor François Bar on issues of the digital divide. Erezi has exciting ongoing research projects and is willing to share her research with the ARNIC community!
What are your general research interests?
I am interested in developing solutions to bridge the digital divide. My research primarily examines user acceptance of technology, technology use patterns, and impact from the use of technology, predominantly among marginalized populations.
What projects are you currently working on?
I am working with Hernan and François, in collaboration with CETF (California Emerging Technology Fund) and Pew Research, to identify the most effective and sustainable strategies for bringing affordable Internet to all Americans. We are assessing the efficiency of existing initiatives to bridge the affordability gap—such as direct subsidy vouchers to qualified consumers, subsidies issued through Internet Service Providers (ISPs), or ISP financial commitments secured through public benefit agreements with regulators and financial commitments as part of IT vendor negotiations with public agencies.
Do you have any upcoming publications?
Yes, I recently published two papers in the Journal of Information Policy. One paper identified predictors of internet use patterns and internet use outcomes relevant to Sub-Saharan Africa.
The second paper estimated users’ willingness to pay for different mobile services, including mobile broadband. Also, we analyzed the impact of zero-rating (limiting access to over-the-top communication services) on demand for mobile services in Nigeria.
Why join the ARNIC network?
There are two significant reasons why deciding to join ARNIC was an easy choice for me. First, the research opportunity aligns closely with the direction I want to pivot my research efforts. My research has predominantly investigated digital equity issues in developing countries. However, I was looking for an opportunity to expand my focus to examining these issues within the US. Working with François and Hernan on this research provides an excellent opportunity to achieve this. Secondly, joining ARNIC allows me to conduct impactful research. By working closely with CETF and Pew Research, the insights from this study could directly inform policymakers on how they could spend the next billion dollars to close the digital divide in California and the rest of the United States.