Purdue University’s Purdue Center for Regional Development and ICF have published a thought-worthy article in the Daily Yonder on the evolution taking place in the US rural area.  This article is republished from the Daily Yonder. For more see: http://www.dailyyonder.com/comes-broadband-millennials-vote-feet/2018/04/11/24960/.

Their conclusion?

That the new connected countryside is a work in progress.

The authors are Professor Roberto Gallardo, Assistant Director of the Purdue Center for Regional Development, ICF’s Robert Bell and Norman Jacknis, a senior fellow at the Intelligent Community Forum and adjunct faculty at Columbia University. They claim that when analyzing the rural population today, they seem to be behaving just like they did in an earlier industrial age. They are moving to cities where jobs and people are concentrated.  It is not surprising that rural areas that lag in broadband connectivity and digital literacy appear to continue to suffer from these old trends. However, they write, that the digital age is young and its full effects are still to be felt. They argue that It took several decades for electricity or the automobile to revolutionize society. Accordingly, any areas outside metro areas that lag in broadband connectivity and digital literacy, limit their potential to leverage the technology to affect their quality of life, potentially reversing migration trends. They write that it still remains to be seen whether or not decentralization will take place, but suggest that any community attempting to retain or attract millennials need to address their digital divide, both in terms of broadband access and adoption/use.  They go as far as to say that their data analysis suggests that if a rural area has widely available and adopted broadband, it can start to successfully attract or retain millennials. This is potentially good news for rural areas. For more see: http://www.dailyyonder.com/comes-broadband-millennials-vote-feet/2018/04/11/24960/

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