According to a recent study performed on 228 selected rural counties that had relatively high broadband availability in 2000, and rural “twin” counties that mirrored their economic structure in terms of farming, manufacturing, retail trade, Federal, State and Local Government income as a percent of total income, investment in broadband Internet access leads to a more competitive local economy.
The article concluded that
Counties that had access to Broadband services, had lower unemployment levels, due largely to businesses being attracted to areas were they could operate through high-speed Internet accesses. Average wages for those employed were significantly higher in broadband available areas as well.The farm sector seemed to be largely unaffected by broadband Internet access, with productivity changing very little. Somewhat surprising was how unaffected local merchants were. Many took advantage of the Internet advancements to be more cost efficient and smartly passed those savings to their customers. Education and other factors proved to difficult to measure, but what wasn’t hard to measure was the overwhelming amount of rural customers who jumped at that chance to upgrade their Internet service from dial-up.