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Broadband Access

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Girl in wheat field with computer

Internet access across America today is characterized by a stark infrastructure gap between rural and urban areas. While urban centers enjoy widespread availability of reliable Internet service, much of rural America has yet to be connected, and of the 24 million Americans living in households that do not have access to a broadband provider, 80 percent of them live in rural areas, according to the latest FCC data. Such disparities in infrastructure directly impact rural citizens and businesses. Access the broadband and high-speed internet can spur the local economy or leave communities behind. In rural communities, students and adults who don’t have access to the internet, don’t have a computer or laptop, or don’t know how to use them for education, work, health or connection are at an impossible disadvantage.

Moore County covers almost 700 square miles with about 49% of the population living in the rural areas of the county outside of any of the eleven incorporated towns. There are about 5,936 households in the county that lack access to the internet

The Broadband issue is multifaceted and complex. Therefore, Extension has compiled some useful information and resources for addressing and closing the digital divide. Click on the links below to learn more about programs available that you may qualify for or just to find out why and how access to broadband can strengthen, and revitalize Moore County Rural Communities and help all residents gain access to employment, education, and healthcare:

Community Development:

Emergency Broadband Benefit Program

Internet Connectivity Survey for North Carolina Households & Businesses

BAND-NC: Digital Inclusion Workshops for Building a Digital Economy

Unlocking the Digital Potential in Rural America by the US Chamber of Commerce

Broadband in Agriculture:

Role of Rural Broadband in Emerging Agricultural Technologies

Internet Connectivity and North Carolina Farms

Impact of Broadband Penetration on US Farm Production

Rural Broadband and the American Farmer Connectivity: Challenges Limit Agriculture’s Economic Impact and Sustainability

Farm Bureau’s Nelson on Broadband Access

Rural Broadband Critical for Huge Agricultural Benefits

The Case for Rural Broadband: USDA Report

Global City Teams Challenge Smart Agriculture and Rural SuperCluster Workshop Report 2020

American Connection Project Why (and How) Land O’Lakes Is Connecting America

Broadband in Family & Consumer Sciences

Broadband and Telehealth in North Carolina’s Appalachian Coal-Impacted Communities by NC Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Rural Health

Digital prosperity: How broadband can deliver health and equity to all communities by The Brookings Institute

Mapping Broadband Health in America by Federal Communications Commission

Telehealth In Health Centers: Key Adoption Factors, Barriers, And Opportunities by Health Affairs (Full Text Available via NC State University Libraries)

Using Telehealth to Expand Access to Essential Health Services during the COVID-19 Pandemic by CDC

Broadband in 4-H & Youth Development

Survey shows teens without broadband internet less confident about their future by Digital Trends 2020

As schools close due to the coronavirus, some U.S. students face a digital ‘homework gap’ by Pew Research

Impact of Digital Skills Among Teens Poll Report by National 4-H Council Fast Company Article by Jennifer Sirangelo (President of National 4-H Council)