Five-County Study Finds Broadband Access Lagging

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(Image of southern Indiana courtesy of the Southern Indiana Development Commission.) (Image of southern Indiana courtesy of the Southern Indiana Development Commission.)
WEST LAFAYETTE -

A recent study by the Purdue Center for Regional Development shows the five-county region of the Southern Indiana Economic Development Commission is lacking in broadband access. The research, which involved Daviess, Greene, Knox, Lawrence and Martin counties, suggests more than 20 percent of residents and 50 percent of businesses in the region do not have access to broadband.

The study shows lack of availability can have negative effects on issues from education to economic development. "Not having adequate broadband connectivity today is equivalent to missing out on a railroad or four-lane highway last century," said Center For Regional Development Assistant Director Roberto Gallardo, who co-authored the report with Annie Cruz-Porter and Benjamin St. Germain. "As the digital economy continues to expand, regions on the wrong side of the digital divide will be left out."

The study says challenges to boosting access include private providers citing low population density, right of way access and geographic barriers. The research was funded by the Defense Manufacturing Assistance Program for the Martin County Alliance and suggested a potential $218 million economic boost over 15 years if all currently underserved households received broadband.

You can connect to more about the results by clicking here.

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