Hoan Nguyen, ARNIC Member, and USC Annenberg Doctoral Student presented her paper entitled Splintering Communications: The Reality of Digital Practices Among People Experiencing Homelessness in an Urban Ghetto at the PTC’20: Vision 2020 and Beyond conference organized by the Pacific Telecommunications Council (PTC) in Honolulu from January 19-22. She also received the Yale M. Braunstein Student Award for this work at the meeting.
Splintering Communications examines the digital practices among people experiencing homelessness in Skid Row – an urban ghetto located in downtown Los Angeles. Through a grounded field research approach, the study discusses the precarious access and use of digital technologies such as the internet, mobile phones, and their supportive infrastructure, their underlying socio-technological context and various consequences on the lives of the urban poor. From the empirical evidence, Splintering Communications also comes up with recommendations to technology policymakers and practitioners for improving the provision and the maintenance of urban network infrastructure to ensure equitable and stable access and use of telecommunication technologies for all.
PTC’s annual conference is a strategic springboard for the global communications industry. A premier conference in the field, PTC brings together senior industry leaders, policymakers, and academics in a shared platform to focus on planning, networking, and discovering what lies ahead for the ICT industry. PTC’20: Vision 2020 and Beyond discussed multiple dimensions of the telecommunications sector, ranging from emerging applications, industry trends, and new business models to shifting regulatory policies and dynamically-changing cultural norms.