Economic Information Bulletin No. (EIB-47) 2 pp

February 2009

Rural Broadband At A Glance, 2009 Edition

Three-quarters of U.S. residents used the Internet to access information, education, and services in 2007. Broadband Internet access is becoming essential for both businesses and households; many compare its evolution to other technologies now considered common necessities-such as cars, electricity, televisions, microwave ovens, and cell phones. Although rural residents enjoy widespread access to the Internet, they are less likely to have high-speed, or broadband, Internet access than their urban counterparts. Circumstantial evidence suggests that the difference in access may lie in the higher cost and limited availability of broadband Internet in rural areas. As a result, rural residents depend more on Internet use outside of the home, in places like the library, school, and work, where broadband Internet access is available.

Keywords: Internet, broadband, high-speed internet, telemedicine, rural, urban, Census data, Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS)

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