Ten years ago it was a frill of big city life; now small towns wonder how to live without it. Within months of the arrival of high-speed internet service in Churchill, Man. and Parrsboro, Nova Scotia, businesses and community organizations came to rely on it for research, sales, purchasing, and advertising.
"Brandon University's Rural Development Institute, in partnership with researchers from Dalhousie University, Mount Allison University, and Strategic Networks Group documented the local economic impact of broadband connection in Churchill, Manitoba and Parrsboro, Nova Scotia. In particular, they examined how broadband affected business revenue, community employment, and business expenses through a series of interviews with businesses and organizations.
"Within this short period of access, we discovered, the vast majority of businesses and community organizations in both towns came to rely on broadband to varying degrees for research, selling goods and services, purchasing goods and services, advertising, document transfer, and promotion. In fact, in their perception, it had become integral to the local economy."