Steve Deller is a professor of agricultural and applied economics and a community economic development specialist for UW-Madison. During a webinar yesterday, he explained that an UW-Extension analysis of national data found that broadband access “really doesn’t matter” for job growth at the national level, which he said was “really surprising to us.”
But because Wisconsin is “sufficiently different” from many other areas of the country, he said that expanding broadband access “really does matter” for employment growth in the state.
“We think the reason for that is because the economic structure of Wisconsin tends to be kind of scattered around the state a little bit more,” he said yesterday.
While the economies of some other Midwest states like Minnesota and Illinois are dominated by large metropolitan areas — the Twin Cities and Chicago — Wisconsin’s economic activity is more widespread throughout the state.