John W. Sipple, director of the New York State Center for Rural Schools and professor of Development Sociology at Cornell University, argues that the implementation of widespread rural broadband is essential for rural children and adults to participate in K-12 education, higher education and the economy.
“The lack of broadband access in rural areas has two main repercussions. First, children trying to participate in the new world economy and to access education are behind from the outset. While all schools are wired, when children are away from school they are decidedly offline.
“Second, adults who may desire to run a business or keep in communication via broadband, are much more likely to reside in an area with such access than in areas without. So this new way to provide service to remote areas has the potential to greatly level the playing field for children and adults alike. ”