Case Studies

Several communities that have undertaken projects to improve their digital access and development were selected as case studies by the developers of this guide. We tried to find communities with a population of less than 15,000 so that the lessons learned could be applied to many other rural communities.

Each community's story is unique; each community uses the broadband technology that best meets their needs. However, similar themes repeat themselves during every interview with project leaders.

  • The key thing these communities have in common is that they did not wait for someone else to help them.
  • They all recognized a need to improve their access and skills and found a solution that worked for their situation.
  • In each of these stories we heard about one person or a small group with a vision, commitment, and persistence.
  • Every community had to go through their own process highlighted in the Connecting Rural Communities manual including visioning, assessments, leadership recruitment, and constant communication to keep revising as the projects developed.
  • Many communities share success stories and repeatedly mention how competition has benefited residents.

The Case Studies

Broadband Over Powerline - Princeton, IL (OK)

Use & Adoption of Broadband - Potter County, PA (OK)

Fiber Optic Cable - Saint Peter, MN

Fiber Optic Cable - Columbus, KS

Fiber Optic Cable - Pickens County, AL

Wireless Broadband - Buffalo, MN

Demand Aggregation - Southern Tier Region of New York (OK)

Grants and Mentoring - Forks, WA (OK)

Wisconsin Broadband(WI)