Not long ago Josh wrote a post about the slow adoption of Twitter in the rural PA area. One of the big barriers to entry he noted was the lack of consistent high speed internet access. Many folks in our area of small town Pennsylvania are still using 56k connections or even satellite downlink connections where data access is limited or unavailable. This makes the user experience for services like Twitter annoyingly sluggish, and with limited 3G and non-existent 4G LTE mobile data coverage much of the fun of mobile services like Twitter is inaccessible to folks in the area.
The Internet Innovation Alliance
There is good news for data-deprived regions of the country, however. The Internet Innovation Alliance is currently supporting the merger of T-Mobile and AT&T which will expand 4G LTE data access to 46.5 million Americans - an equivalent to the combined populations of New York and Texas. To give you an idea of how access would expand in our area of PA alone, take a look at the image below provided by MobilizeEverything.com.
As you can see PA would see a huge bump in data access. As someone who lives and dies by my phone's data connection I'd love to see 4G LTE expand to our area. That said, this has huge implications for your small business as well.
Why Data Matters for Small Business
The typical American consumer is becoming increasingly connected every day. More and more folks are buying smart phones and mobile tablet devices constantly. So what are we doing with all of our gizmos and gadgets? Talking to our friends on social networks and mobile services like Facebook, Foursquare and even the brand new Google Plus of course! It's always been important for a small business to craft a strategy for their presence on social networks, but with further data proliferation in small-town America you can bet that the number of folks that will want to check in to your business or share their thoughts about your service with their friends will skyrocket.
There's a reason this socially connected approach has already been such a success in larger metropolitan areas - it gives business owners a better chance now than ever to connect with their customers, respond to their feedback and provide a better customer experience! Best yet, if you embrace the onset of mobile customers your business stands a great chance to transition brand new consumers into happy customers.
Learn more about how data access helps rural communities
Want to know more about why broadband is so important, especially to your rural community? Take a look at the infographic below, and be sure to take a look at the document detailing broadband's effect on rural America. This information was provided by the Internet Innovation Alliance (IAA), and it further explains how taking advantage of high speed data now means huge growth potential for small communities and the businesses that support them down the road!