ERIC Number: ED462214
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001
Reference Count: N/A
Going Digital in Rural America.
Malecki, Edward J.
This paper examines the extent to which rural America is digital--has access to the Internet and to newer technologies such as wireless broadband--and discusses rural supply and demand for "going digital." Supply aspects include issues of both infrastructure and public policy. Demand aspects include entrepreneurs (business users) and others with the education and skills to take advantage of digital technologies. Much of the benefit of digital technology involves intangibles, not only products and services of an intangible nature, but also social well-being enhanced by new modes of information and communication. Telecommunications technology is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for rural economic growth. A more fruitful approach to rural development is to build and enhance the capabilities of local firms and to attract a share of experienced entrepreneurs, many of whom are looking for the quality of life offered by rural areas. Attracting migrants should be complemented with education and training of people in existing businesses. Building networks to encourage interaction among entrepreneurs, and between entrepreneurs and other local leaders in education and government will increase information-sharing that might not take place otherwise and will enhance business success. Telecommunications is but one piece in the more complex puzzle of rural development. Because the issue is wrapped up in human capital, it is far more than a simple infrastructure supply issue. (Contains 78 references.) (TD)
Descriptors: Access to Information, Economic Development, Entrepreneurship, Geographic Isolation, Human Capital, Information Technology, Internet, Migration, Rural Areas, Rural Development, Rural Urban Differences, Telecommunications
For full text: http://www.kc.frb.org/Publicat/Exploring/RC01Male.pdf.
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Science Foundation, Arlington, VA.
Authoring Institution: Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, MO. Center for the Study of Rural America.