Remote Rural Home Based Businesses and Digital Inequalities: Understanding Needs and Expectations in a Digitally Underserved Community

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The digital economy offers home based micro-businesses in rural areas many advantages but stubborn social,economic and territorial digital divides continue to create challenges for this sector of the rural economy.Complex digital inequalities are illustrated in our case studies of the digital behavior and Internet experiences of those running micro, home based businesses in a remote, digitally underserved rural community before,during and after the deployment of broadband technology. Findings draw attention to the role and importance of fit-for-purpose broadband in promoting digital inclusion for individuals, households and small, home based businesses: in a fast changing digital national and global economy remote rural home based micro-businesses are at risk of being left behind.

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CARES PROJECT SUPPORT COORDINATOR CARES, MU Extension 100 Gentry Hall Columbia, MO 65211

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