Investment in rural broadband pays off in urban areas too

Articles in the mainstream Twin Cities media about broadband funding in rural areas seem to spur comments from people who wonder why we should invest in rural areas, according to Telecompetitor the ROI is quick and positive for both rural and urban areas …

Rural broadband service providers contributed $24.2 billion to the economies of the states in which they operate in 2015, report author Hanns Kuttner said. And two thirds of this impact was felt in urban, rather than rural areas, according to the report titled “The Economic Impact of Rural Broadband.”

This occurs, in large part, because key equipment and services needed to support broadband construction come from urban areas, the author noted. “Broadband is a relatively capital intensive sector and the capital goods overwhelmingly come from outside the areas rural broadband providers serve,” the report states.

The report indicates that higher investment in rural areas would result in higher pay back…

Other key findings of the Hudson Institute’s rural broadband economic impact report:

The rural broadband industry supported 69,600 jobs in 2015, including its own employees and employees of companies from which the industry purchased goods and services.

Rural broadband supported over $100 billion in e-commerce in 2015, with the largest share in manufacturing. About $10 billion involved retail sales. If broadband had the same reach in rural areas that it does in urban areas, sales would have been at least $1 billion higher.

This entry was posted in Funding, Research, Rural by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

I have a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science. I have been interested or involved in providing access to information through the Internet since 1994, when I worked for Minnesota’s first Internet service provider. I am pleased to be a part of the Blandin on Broadband Team. I also work with MN Coalition on Government Information, Minnesota Rural Partners, and the American Society for Information Science and Technology.

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