Reliable, High-Speed Internet: The Difference Between Economic Growth & Economic Stagnation in Rural Mountain Towns

By: Eric Hager 

Even before COVID-19 changed how many of us go about our daily lives having access to fast, reliable internet was, for many rural mountain towns, the difference between economic growth and economic stagnation or decline.  

Reliable, High-Speed Internet Promoted Economic Growth Even Before COVID-19 

According to the US Bureau of Economic Analysis, before the pandemic, every new dollar invested in the telecommunications generated $2.10 of economic growth, and according to Reuters every $1 million invested in broadband creates 20 additional local jobs.  

Research conducted by the Brookings Institute found that for every 1% increase in broadband penetration the local economy grows between 0.2% and 0.3%. Similar findings from the Sacramento Regional Research Institute reveal that for every 1% increase in broadband adoption a region can expect to see a corresponding 0.075% growth in employment and a 0.088% increase in payroll earnings. 

Investing in broadband is an investment in the community that creates jobs, improves access to educational and job opportunities, and contributes to the health and wellbeing of rural residents1 

In the COVID-19 Era, Reliable Internet is an Economic Lifeline 

As remote work becomes the norm for many employees across the United States, real estate in rural areas is experiencing a boomOne of the main reasons many workers used to leave rural areas for urban centers was job opportunities, but with remote work on the raise many Americans are doing the opposite.  

Rural communities with adequate broadband access have become a magnet for urbanites seeking to trade noisy, expensive, and crowded cities for the peace and tranquility of rural settings. This migration is contributing to economic growth as remote workers bring their jobs, and their pay checks, with them when they move. New residents purchase homes as well as consumer goods, fuelling rural economies.  

Case Study: Red Cliff, Colorado 

With help from the FORETHOUGHT teamRed Cliff, Colorado now has access to reliable, high-speed internet access as well as cell service over internet, which was previously unavailable in this rural community of 345 residents. Access to broadband internet means that residents are now able to access telemedical services as well as remote work and online educational opportunities. 

Residents are also able to use the new community-wide network to better access emergency services, improving the overall health and wellbeing of the community. Since Red Cliff began investing in broadband infrastructure the town has seen an increase in development, with the number of requests for building permits increasing noticeably.  

To help bridge the digital divide and ensure all Americans have access to fast, reliable internet 

FORETHOUGHT offers a range of affordable internet and phone packages for both residential customers and commercial customers. 

For more information about broadband and to learn how your business or family could benefit from a FORETHOUGHT internet connection, please contact our team today