Economic Benefits of Expanding Broadband in Select Missouri Counties

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The economic benefits of high-speed internet go beyond access and expansion, as examined by researchers from the University of Missouri Extension in their new study ‘The Economic Benefits of Expanding Broadband in Selected Missouri Counties.’ The study focused on three rural areas: Bollinger County has the lowest broadband adoption rate in the state; Henry County's rate is about average; and Nodaway County is above average. It found that increased broadband adoption drives long-term economic gains, including the following:

  • Broadband investment: Installing broadband infrastructure to previously unserved households will generate construction-related economic gains over several years.
  • Telemedicine: Virtual health care saves households money by reducing visits to the emergency room and doctor’s office. It also reduces lost income associated with travel and missed work.
  • Education productivity: Access to online resources increases teacher productivity.
  • Income: Broadband technology enables more effective job matching, online training, access to goods and services, and it improves productivity that can raise household and farm incomes.
  • Employment: Community job growth, especially in knowledge-intensive services, leads to entrepreneurial, investment, and productivity gains.

The University of Missouri Extension's Broadband Initiative team has a guide to help local officials come up with plans to become more digitally connected. The Missouri Department of Economic Development is calling on broadband providers in the state to submit projects as part of an application for up to $30 million in assistance from the federal government.

Economic Benefits of Expanding Broadband in Select Missouri Counties If You Build It, Will They Come? Study Highlights Broadband Adoption