The Influence of Broadband Internet on Rural Communities

A recent study by the Blandin Foundation, an organization focused on improving rural areas in Minnesota, has demonstrated that rural communities realize economic benefits from the deployment of high-speed Internet. Although the study focused on rural counties in Minnesota and West Virginia, the results can be applied to all rural communities- including Baileyville and Calais, Maine. The study analyzed factors such as community data, citizen input and formulaic calculations to predict future values.

Specifically, economic gains were recorded by the local university (enrollment up 3 straight years since the deployment of high-speed broadband) and local businesses attributed better broadband access to an increase in sales and new hires.  

The Blandin Foundation’s article titled, Measuring Impact of Broadband in 5 Rural MN Communities, summarized the results of the study by stating, “When economic developers and community leaders are able to devote their time and attention to implementing innovative, tech-based economic development strategies, rather than on improving broadband access, it gives them a distinct advantage over unserved counties where local teams spend countless hours pursing broadband deployment and struggling with limited bandwidth and unhappy residents and businesses. Smart communities plan for the future.”

You can read more about the study here: https://blandinfoundation.org/learn/research-rural/broadband-resources/broadband-initiative/measuring-impact-broadband-5-rural-mn-communities/

Our team at Downeast Broadband Utility plans to help Baileyville and Calais, Maine do exactly that: plan for the future to ensure that these rural areas have the resources they need to flourish. Stay tuned as we provide project updates and keep you in the loop regarding our initiatives to make fiber optic broadband internet more accessible for communities.