Broadband internet access could have a payout for the state as a whole

Staff Report
TheStatehouseFile.com

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana could see a net economic gain of almost $12 billion dollars over 20 years if an investment is made to extend broadband internet into less populated areas.

According to a study done by Purdue University agricultural economists, after analyzing costs and benefits with installing broadband in rural areas, the state could potentially earn $4 for every dollar invested.

More than 93,000 Hoosiers are living in near internet darkness because they either don’t have internet access at all, or the access they have is slow or limited. Broadband access would drop that number and provide a more reliable way to access internet. Some people are comparing it to rural electrification that happened a few generations ago.

Broadband would have many positive impacts in many different areas.

With the gain of nearly $12 billion it would not only add to the state and federal revenues, but also create budget savings that could benefit healthcare. It would also reduce the cost of Medicaid and Medicare. Kindergarten through 12th grade students would be able to access the internet easier for assignments, as well as seek help from teacher or other online resources.

In addition, better broadband access would help farmers’ productivity and profitability by making it easier to communicate with suppliers and market outlets, access Extension and other farming information, quicker access to weather information.

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