Unless the government steps in with subsidies, the urban-rural digital divide will likely continue to increase, discouraging businesses from seeking the cheaper real estate out in the boondocks:
“We have companies that lose money because they don’t have broadband,” said Maureen Connolly, a director at the Economic Development Council of Northern Vermont. “We’re not a third world country. We shouldn’t have to beg for service.”
A response to this trend may be high-density exurbs in rural regions (Blacksburg, VA?). Running a business that requires an online presence may force owners to move to the closest large town that supports broadband service. That might be the only way to keep companies from leaving the region entirely.
This service problem also points in the direction of regional consolidation of government services. Expenses spread over a region may provide the means to keep the remotely located connected to the rest of the world.