Rural areas are consistently disadvantaged simply because the more people that are in a town, the more attractive the town is for businesses; rural locations are negatively affected by economies of scale. Everything may cost more, including Internet, and in some cases there may be no Internet providers at all. In this video podcast, Dr. Sharon Strover interviews Suzanne McClure on the cost of broadband and discusses the concept of the “cooperative” with Heather McDonald and Brian Siegfried.
In areas where there are not competitive Internet services, children and the local education system are a step behind – kids may not be as ready to join a 21st century workforce. Dr. Sharon Strover discusses the importance of internet service for local communities in this video podcast and learns from local community members that one-on-one programs (one device for each child) in the schools mean students could not be successful without the Internet.
Dr. Sharon Strover answers the question “What’s a hotspot?” and discusses library Hotspot lending through the Kansas State Library program with community members. Karen Gillingham, the Goodland Librarian, feels that these technologies are “up and coming”, and the patrons who use the Hotspots explain how the Hotspots have made a difference in their daily lives.