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life in rural nebraska

New rural broadband report out

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Being a stats geek, I like the data that the USDA Economic Research Service provides on a regular basis.  They offer up a nice meaty report on the state of rural broadband, which you can read the full report here and a nice synopsis here.

What’s to be found in the report?  More of the same – rural lags urban in broadband access and service…nothing surprising.  The USDA offers their take on the impact of this discrepancy in the rural private sector:

Online retail sales have increased substantially. Rural retail business Internet users
found that broadband access allowed them to increase operational effectiveness
and exploit market niches.

Sure, I’d love to see fiber to the home and us all enjoy 100 mbps download speeds.  Policy makers fail to understand is that the biggest obstacle to rural development doesn’t lie in the lack of access in rural homes, but the cost of access, if its available, to rural business.  Incentivize cheaper methods of broadband access for business, and the playing field is equalized.

Then we can think about fiber to the home.


Written by Caleb

February 27, 2009 at 10:35 pm

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