(StatePoint) Healthy communities and a strong national economy rely on internet access for all, suggests a new study.
Indeed, in todayâ€™s economy, those in both urban and rural areas are equally dependent on online transactions, according to new report commissioned by the Foundation for Rural Service (FRS), entitled â€œA Cyber Economy: The Transactional Value of the Internet in Rural America.â€ However, rural dwellers do not always enjoy the same access to robust broadbandÂ as urbanites.
â€œAccess to the internet is key to almost everything we do today -- connecting us to education, healthcare, job opportunities, entertainment and so much more,â€ says FRS executive director, Jessica Golden.
But itâ€™s not just people who are dependent on online transactions, the national economy is too. Half of the U.S. GDP today comes from internet-driven transactions and that percentage is expected to rise over the next four years, according to the report. Valued at $1.4 trillion and accounting for 7 percent of the U.S. nominal GDP, rural America accounts for a substantial portion of these transactions.
â€œThese findings highlight the value of continued investment in rural broadband for the good of all Americans,â€ says Golden.