A gap in broadband access separates urban and rural America. But the divide doesn’t end there. Some of the biggest access disparities are in rural counties themselves – between the people who live in the county seat and those who don’t.
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.
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.
Between 2000 and 2010, most of the U.S. became more ethnically diverse.
But metro counties diversified faster ethnically than did rural
counties. Relatedly, the median age in rural counties grew faster than
the national average.