Factors Affecting the Use of Rural ICT Services (Case Study: Villagers of Central Division of Najaf Abad County)



The rural ICT application is an attempt to supply the services of central agencies to villages, in order to achieve improved services, affordable connectivity and processing solutions (Roma Rao, 2004). ICT supports of rural poor in daily living specially in way communications while crisis, protect communication with family, recover information and business. ICT increase the capability and influence of speech and voice rural communities (Fourie, 2008).
Various studies have shown that information and communication technologies (ICT) make a significant contribution to economic growth and social development of communities. This has subsequently been the basis of the assumption that ICT investment in rural communities will result in the desired economic and social development of such communities (Moshapo and Hanrahan, 2004).
Findings of Qlynya and Salari Tabas (2009) revealed that use of computer, internet, SMS system and innovator in rural area have a positive influence on the use of these services by villagers from the office of rural ICT services. Findings of Moshapo and Hanrahan (2004) revealed that voice telephone is the most prominent and utilized service wherever access to ICT is available. The contribution of voice telephone to the development of poor rural communities is however of restricted significance .Internet services that are provided through dial-up over the telephone network infrastructure are of very low utility. Therefore, they know the development of poor rural communities requires ICT services that will attract revenue and public services to community members in the most efficient manner.

The inquiry aims to investigate the use of ICT by the villagers to identify factors influencing the usage development of this technology in the village in order to provide the strategies of services development by ICT. The statistical society of the study consisted of 1204 literate villagers with dairy farm or agricultural job resident in Central division of Najaf Abad County. By using multi-staged proportional random sampling, 172 persons (by Cochran formula) were selected.

The study showed that the mean age of respondents was 40 years, and most frequency is placed in level of age (14-24) and (36-46) years. In terms of the level of education, most frequency (40.8 percent) is related to respondent by read and write and primary school level of education. The main job was 38.8 percent farmers, 51.1 percent self-employed, 5.8 percent the state, 4.3 percent other occupations (council, villager pal, cooperative, and spiritual). 43.1 percent of respondents lacked computer skills, 22.4 percent had few, 18.4 percent had average and 16.1 percent had high skills at using computers. 58 percent of respondents lacked internet skills, 15.5 percent had few, 11.5 percent had average, and 14.9 percent had high skills at using the internet.
The results of classification respondent's attitude showed 31 percent had favorable attitude, 35 percent neutral attitude and about 34 percent had unfavorable attitude towards using of ICT services in village. The results of correlation analysis showed that the more favorable attitude respondents have had, the more ICT tools they have used. Also the result of LSD test illustrated respondents who had favorable attitude used these technology more than two groups with neutral and unfavorable attitude. Observations this section of inferential analysis confirm findings regression analysis that showed one of the most important factors affecting the use of rural ICT, is respondent's attitude towards using ICT in village. However, only 31% of respondents had a favorable attitude. Therefore, something must be done to improve the attitude of villagers towards ICT. In this regard, use local connectors and training classes of ICT applications in village can be effective.

Findings of prioritizing of the villagers use of ICT identified watching TV programs on how to prevent and combat common human diseases, improve individual and family health, and receive news of new agricultural and animal husbandry achieved first to third priorities. These results are consonant with study Noripour and Shahvali (2011) suggest that television was the most usage ICT tools by the villagers. In this regard, the television programs should be prepared with better quality and content in order to improve rural life and increase agricultural efficiency by the related organizations and they should be distributed on the network in each province accordance with products and local conditions of the villages.
Findings showed that people who have had more skills at working with computer and internet have used the rural ICT services more than others. Also, based on the regression results, "internet skills" is one of the most important factors effective on changing of ICT use. This matter shows the importance of internet skills of respondents in increasing use of ICT. As most respondents (58%) had no internet skills, it is necessary to increase villager's internet skills. For this purpose, relevant organizations should establish centers equipped with computer systems and high-speed internet lines and hold training classes "Acquaintance with computer and the correct use of the internet to gain access to required information" in these centers and provide the possibility of using this technology with reducing the cost of accessing to internet in rural areas.