Survey Shows Access to High-Speed Internet Enriches Lives of Rural Americans

Cox continues its digital equity commitment by connecting underserved communities

ATLANTA, Feb. 1, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- A survey from Cox Communications found that 86% of consumers with recently available high-speed internet in previously underserved1 communities say the service has improved their lives.

Why It Matters

Those living in rural areas and/or regions lacking high-speed internet access are often hindered in their economic growth and face challenges accessing resources, including education and healthcare.

Cox is continuing its efforts to broaden high-speed internet availability, with the aim of creating greater opportunities for economic and educational advancement through connectivity. Over the past year and a half, the company has expanded its fiber network to reach more than 50,000 households in Ariz., Fla., Kan., Neb., Okla., and Va. that were previously unserved or underserved.

"Our survey shows that a high-speed internet connection brings optimism and economic prosperity to rural communities," said Mark Greatrex, president of Cox Communications. "By connecting these households, residents are empowered to learn, increase their earning potential and thrive."

What's More

The Cox Expansion Impact survey polled the company's high-speed internet customers in new market areas, previously considered unserved or underserved. Conducted in December 2023, the survey found high-speed internet stimulates economic growth in rural communities, narrows the education gap between lower- and higher-income households and encourages younger generations to remain in their communities, with greater prospects of remote learning and working.

Go Deeper

Key findings are that new access to high-speed internet:

  • Improves the lives of 86% of respondents.
  • Encourages 70% of respondents 30 or younger to stay in their community.
  • Has a greater positive impact on younger than older generations, at 73% for millennials and younger and 45% for Gen X and older.
  • Provides 80% of respondents with better connectivity to family and friends.
  • Allows the majority of respondents to feel more optimistic about their economic and employment future.
  • Improves 62% of respondents' access to online jobs and remote work.
  • Increases out-of-office working capabilities for 84% of those already doing their jobs remotely.
  • Is twice as likely to greatly improve the education of children in lower-income families (those making less than $50K a year) than higher-income families (those making more than $50K a year).
  • Improves 87% of lower-income households' and 66% of higher-income households' ability to apply for colleges/vocational schools.

Making an Impact

In addition to the survey, Cox spoke with new customers and community leaders in rural areas where it has recently expanded its high-speed internet service.

One rural community leader said, "Our workforce and economic activities will grow significantly. We believe our people will have easier access to education, be healthier as they can now engage in telehealth, and have faster and easier access to apply for jobs and benefits."

"I believe the addition of high-speed internet is going to help us attract and retain the younger generation if we can market it, and people know that it's available here," said one rural community mayor.

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About Cox Communications
Cox Communications is committed to creating meaningful moments of human connection through technology. As the largest private broadband company in America, we operate fiber-powered networks in more than 30 states, providing connections and advanced cloud and managed IT services for nearly seven million homes and businesses nationwide. We're dedicated to empowering others to build a better future and celebrate diverse products, people, suppliers, communities and the characteristics that make each one unique. Cox Communications is the largest division of Cox Enterprises, a family-owned business founded in 1898 by Governor James M. Cox. 

"Unserved" locations are defined as having broadband speeds below 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload and "underserved" is defined as having below 100 Mbps download and 20 Mbps upload. Section 60102(a)(1), Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Nov. 2021.

SOURCE Cox Communications

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