How well are Europe's rural businesses connected to the digital economy?
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Grimes, Seamus. (2005). How well are Europe's rural businesses connected to the digital economy? European Planning Studies, 13(7), 1063-1081. doi: 10.1080/09654310500242105
As economic activity becomes increasingly globalized, partly by means of new information and communication technologies (ICTs), one of the key expectations of European policy-makers was that businesses in rural regions, and particularly in peripheral rural regions, would overcome some of the disadvantages of their locational contexts, and become more effective participants in larger market areas. This paper examines the reality of ICT exploitation by rural business across Europe, based on a survey of 600 enterprises in 12 regions located in Ireland, Scotland, Germany, Spain, Greece and Finland. Not surprisingly, a range of outcomes has been identified in terms of telecommunications infrastructure and ICT usage, which reflect considerable differences in access to reasonably priced broadband telecommunications, awareness of how the technologies can be exploited, and in levels of skills to translate that exploitation into a means of competitiveness.