And now from our economic development section…USA TODAY examines at the affect broadband could have on residents of Berry, a small town in northeast Kentucky with a population of 310.
“We had people come in and want to buy a house just outside city limits, but when they found out we don’t have high-speed DSL, they said, ‘No, We can’t live here,’ ” Berry Mayor Donald Adams says.
Across the USA, just 35% of adults in rural America can get online via broadband at home or work, vs. 50% of those in urban and suburban areas, says a study this year by the Pew Internet & American Life Project.
The town has applied for a $100,000 grant from the Agriculture Department to make broadband available to residents for about $30 a month and to businesses for $80. Also, 10 computers would be installed for free public access.
I’m far from an economics professor, but there looks to be a huge business opportunity in small town connectivity. Maybe a savvy advertiser can work a deal to help themselves, and the disconnected.