Last year, the ICF Institute at the Mississippi State University Extension Service issued a competitive call for research papers focusing on the impact of broadband on small rural communities. Three papers were recently chosen for publication on the Institute’s Web site.
“Broadband and Civic Engagement in Rural Areas: What Matters Most?”, by Dr. Brian Whitacre of Oklahoma State University, discovered that higher broadband adoption is associated with higher levels of civic engagement.
In another paper, “Does County Broadband Access Affect Civic Engagement?”, authors Gina Rico and Bryan Farrell of Mississippi State University reported that lack of access to broadband unexpectedly increased voter turnout in a Republic primary in the state, and analyzed why this might have occurred.
Dr. Joseph Holland of the University of Mississippi contributed “Developing Intelligent Communities: Investigating Benefits and Barriers of Tele-Mental Health.” He found that providing mental health service through telemedicine provided greater access to services, saved wait and travel time for patients, and enhanced the professional development of caregivers.