|Source: IBRC, using FCC data|
(Indianapolis, Ind.) - Access to high speed internet service is growing, but still lacking to many Indiana residents.
A new report from the Indiana Business Research Center at Indiana University says only 12 of the state’s 92 counties have between 60 and 80 percent of residents with broadband internet as of December 2009. Dearborn County is among those.
Meanwhile, Ripley and Ohio counties have between 40 and 60 percent of residents with high speed access.
In Franklin and Switzerland Counties only between 20 and 40 percent have broadband availability.
The report used data from the Federal Communications Commission.
Economic progress in rural areas could hinge on whether residents have wide access to broadband service.
"While in past decades access to interstates and railroads played a crucial role in economic development, the knowledge-based economy is experiencing a similar reliance on broadband connectivity," said Rachel Justis, a geo-demographic analyst at the IBRC.
"These data from the FCC show that broadband adoption rates tend to be lower in southern Indiana relative to the rest of the state, making this an indicator for economic developers to watch as time goes on," she added.
A Brookings Institution report estimated that for every 1 percentage point increase in broadband penetration in a state, nonfarm private employment is projected to increase by 0.2 to 0.3 percent.