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Broadband adoption and availability: Impacts on rural employment during COVID-19

Catherine Isley and Sarah Low ()

Telecommunications Policy, 2022, vol. 46, issue 7

Abstract: Amidst COVID-19-related stay-at-home orders, the economy moved largely online and broadband internet became more important than ever. This paper explores the relationship between broadband and employment rates during April and May 2020 in rural U.S. counties. We use two broadband dimensions: infrastructure availability rates and household adoption rates. We use a two-stage least squares approach to address endogeneity and control for socioeconomic, demographic, and pandemic-related factors. Results show broadband availability and wired broadband adoption both had significant, positive impacts on the employment rate. Our findings suggest both broadband adoption and availability may be associated with economic benefits in rural America.

Keywords: Broadband; COVID-19 pandemic; Employment; Rural economic development; Broadband adoption; Broadband availability (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1016/j.telpol.2022.102310

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