I asked this question on Twitter last week. Sometimes it is easy to take internet access for granted; however, there are still parts of the county, particularly in isolated rural areas, that don’t have access to broadband. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 appropriated $2.5 billion for broadband access for underserved communities. Perhaps some of you have seen improvements with broadband in your community over the last year. This investment in infrastructure is important because it not only helps reduce rural poverty and rural illiteracy, but it also helps stimulate the economies in rural communities (particularly in this job market).
The following are some of the responses that I received on Twitter when I asked why the investment in broadband infrastructure is important for rural communities:
@katpinke – “Broadband in rural ND allows me to hve the technology 2 work frm remote location using video conf, lightning fast connection.”
@lauralessparks– “I live in a rural area – most important to me is that the lack of broadband puts the kids at disadvantage educationally. Next up would be the economic disadvantage, since broadband opens work & entrepreneurial opportunities.”
@KsFarmBoy – “A slow internet connection makes many use it less. Connection time outs makes them hive up on websites.”
@CashTwentyTwo– “Huge amount of webinars, live chats and streaming broadcasts that are inaccessible w/o broadband. Plus up 2 the minute forecasts.”
@bradatslice – “It’s a huge political debate here in Oz #NBN broadband is more than important to the agriculture community; it’s their future.”
@chakklo – “Everyone has the right to equal web access. E.g., Finland just made a 1 meg connection a civil right.”
@HoneyBHolistic -“Ppl need access to the latest tech no matter where they live. Rural folk may resist the other trappings of (Sub)Urban life, but it doesn’t mean they should be left out of the conversations technology affords people. . . . The Internet has opened up access 4 many who would not otherwise be able to participate.”
So why do you think broadband is important for rural America?