The goal of this research is tto characterize and quantify the relationship between adequate broadband services and rural entrepreneurial endeavors, and to assess which policies – whether governmental, private, trade association-based or philanthropically supported – might improve the local entrepreneurship ecosystem.


Objectives and Methodology

The Broadband and Rural Entrepreneurship project investigates the impact of broadband access on rural entrepreneurship. It focuses on broadband’s role, potential improvements, and policy recommendations.

The project has two phases. Phase 1 analyzes broadband data in Texas, Kansas, and Maine to understand its connection to entrepreneurship. Phase 2 involves qualitative investigations in matched counties, including interviews with key stakeholders.


Key Findings

  • FCC broadband data may overestimate connectivity in rural areas.
  • Higher-speed broadband benefits rural entrepreneurship.
  • Entrepreneurs rely on digital tools and social networks, underscoring broadband’s importance.

COVID-19 Impact: The pandemic created challenges, affecting travel and communication. Interviews and data gathering were hindered, impacting research depth.

Continued work: The research aims to enhance rural broadband and support entrepreneurship for local economic development. Additional reports are forthcoming.


Research Team

Sharon Strover

Professor, School of Journalism and Media, Department of Radio-Television-Film