Study: Rural Broadband Offers Billions to Indiana's Economy

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Tim Day is the senior vice president of the Chamber Technology Engagement Center. Tim Day is the senior vice president of the Chamber Technology Engagement Center.

A study from an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce suggests Indiana could benefit significantly from having improved rural broadband access. "Unlocking the Digital Potential of Rural America" says Indiana could add more than $2 billion to its GDP each year if the entire rural community had broadband services. The study was conducted by the Chamber Technology Engagement Center.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business Reporter Mary-Rachel Redman, Senior Vice President Tim Day said the state can reap the benefits of making sure rural communities have access to the Internet. 

"It's not a lot but there's a lot that can be done with little," said Day. "There's some real advantages and legislators both on the federal and state level need to be aware of this report that we've released and the findings because that's significant: $2 billion to a state yearly just by providing broadband coverage, cell service and access to the Internet. So I think it's something all legislators should be looking at and looking at ways to make those investments locally."

Day gave the closing remarks Tuesday at the TecNation: Indianapolis event, one of 10 events nationwide aimed at showing legislators and regulators the benefits of technology to the economy and how it is creating jobs. He touted Indiana's efforts to improve rural broadband throughout the state.

"We talked today about the investment that the state is making to provide rural broadband to the state and that really will, according to our study, provide meaningful jobs and meaningful economic impact to the state," Day said.

Rural broadband has been a major focus for Governor Eric Holcomb, who in February launched his $100 million Next Level Broadband program. Scott Rudd, director of broadband opportunities for the state, appeared earlier this month on Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick and said he is already seeing collaboration on the issue among cities, towns and regions.

You can view the Indiana fact sheet from the C_TEC study below:

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