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One in Three Rural Businesses in South Carolina Rely on Online Sales to Increase Revenues

By CSC Staff

From Hongqiang Sun, Research Analyst:

The adoption and use of broadband by rural and agribusinesses opens many possibilities in the digital economy. Unfortunately, broadband usage is not universal among rural businesses, and broadband is often not available to rural businesses at the same speeds offered to their urban competitors. This greatly limits their ability to contribute to the local economy and increase profits.

According to a new study by Connect South Carolina, Technology Adoption among Agribusinesses and Rural Businesses, approximately 5,000 rural businesses do not use broadband.  This accounts for one-fifth of South Carolina rural businesses, including 4,000 businesses that do not have a computer. In addition, research from United States Department of Agriculture shows that South Carolina farms are also lagging behind the rest of the country in terms of broadband adoption.

Broadband satisfaction is also an issue that needs to be addressed among rural businesses. While 62% of South Carolina rural businesses are very satisfied with their current service, half of all businesses that report being dissatisfied with their broadband service are located in rural areas of the state.

South Carolina agribusinesses and rural businesses benefit from broadband in a variety of ways. Rural South Carolina businesses with an online presence report median annual revenue that is $230,000 higher than rural businesses without online sales. Statewide, over one-third of rural businesses (34%) earn at least some of their revenues from online sales.

Connect South Carolina discusses this information in depth in its report, Technology Adoption among Agribusinesses and Rural Businesses. To learn more about the state of broadband in South Carolina and how Connect South Carolina is working to bring fast, affordable broadband to everyone across the state, visit our website, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.







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