Will the market alone take care of rural America’s broadband needs – eventually? In the last installment of our broadband series, the authors outline the types of public policies they think will help improve rural broadband.
We hear a lot of claims about the economic impact of broadband in rural areas. The data shows that high rates of broadband adoption do contribute to income growth, lower unemployment and other measures of economic success.
Broadband access is growing in rural America. But the gap between the metro and nonmetro adoption rate is unchanged over the past seven years. And for some groups, the rural broadband divide is getting worse.
Across the board, rural areas lag urban ones in their access to broadband. A first-of-its-kind map and a state-by-state chart compute that geographical difference in “availability,” which is the first piece of the rural broadband puzzle.