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State broadband policy: Impacts on availability.

Authors
  • Whitacre, Brian1
  • Gallardo, Roberto2
  • 1 Department of Agricultural Economics, Oklahoma State University, USA.
  • 2 Purdue Center for Regional Development, Purdue University, USA.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Telecommunications policy
Publication Date
Oct 01, 2020
Volume
44
Issue
9
Pages
102025–102025
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.telpol.2020.102025
PMID: 32863542
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

We use a county-level panel dataset from 2012 to 2018 to assess the impacts of various state policies on total and rural broadband availability in the United States. The primary dependent variable is the percentage of residents with access to 25 Megabits per second (MBPS) download and 3 MBPS upload speeds via a fixed connection, with alternative specifications considering other aspects of availability such as technology type and competition. We control for the main determinants of Internet availability such as income, education, age, and population density. Our policy variables come from the newly released State Broadband Policy Explorer from the Pew Charitable Trusts and individual contacts from the nationwide State Broadband Leaders Network. Our primary policies of interest are those related to: (1) availability of state-level funding, (2) existence of a state-level broadband office/task force with full-time employees, and (3) restrictions on municipal/cooperative broadband provision. We find a positive and significant impact of state-level funding programs on general (and fiber) broadband availability, and a negative impact of municipal/cooperative restrictions. The findings are similar when the analysis is restricted to the rural portions of counties. © 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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