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Abstract

Although attention has been given to how broadband access is related to economic development in rural areas, scant consideration has been given to how it may be associated with voluntary participation. This issue is important in that numerous studies have shown how much more vital community participation is in rural areas as compared to suburban and urban places. Drawing on three diverse data sets, we examine the influence of broadband access on community participation. In addition, we explore whether broadband access exerts its influence through, in conjunction with, or independent of social networks. The results suggest that broadband access and social network size have independent effects on volunteering in rural places.

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