By BRIAN BRUS
STILLWATER – Oklahoma State University agricultural economics professor Brian Whitacre’s studies in recent years have focused on the value of broadband connectivity to rural communities. Last year brought that research into stark contrast.
Parts of Oklahoma were already at a significant economic disadvantage compared with the rest of the country and falling farther behind, Whitacre said. Then in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic forced people to stay home. It became obvious that job competition and student studies often comes down to who has reliable internet access – every missed connection ripples into cultural and economic losses.
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