You are visiting: Individuals
| print this page | + larger font | - smaller font |  


Broadband technology can literally change the way people live.The figure below shows some of the most popular things that Americans do when online, and how they have changed over time.

Source: PEW Internet, “Online Activities, 2000 – 2009.” December 2010.Available here

While most people have come to rely on the Internet as a source of information (for weather, maps, and news), it can also be used to generate income or increase education levels. One of the most popular sites on the Internet is eBay (, an online auction site that allows individuals to sell or buy items from other people just like them from all over the world. In fact, AC Nielson identified over 157 million registered eBay users in 2005 – and over 724,000 of those users rely on eBay as their primary or secondary source of income. 1.5 million users supplement their income by selling on eBay. Below are links to several presentations and websites that provide an introduction to eBay and discuss the basics of using eBay to sell items from home.

Rural Job Creation (e-work)
While eBay is one of the most popular ways to generate additional income from the Internet, a number of other options exist. Rural individuals, in particular, can take advantage of broadband technology to complete jobs that historically have been done in urban areas. Monica Babine of Washington State University’s Center to Bridge the Digital Divide lists the following rural jobs that are enabled by broadband:

  • Help desk and customer service
  • Language translation and interpretation service
  • Medical transcription and medical coding
  • Website development and maintenance
  • Financial service
  • Writing and editing
  • Research and evaluation
  • Software development
  • Insurance claims processing
Click here for a report on rural e-work generated by the Center to Bridge the Digital Divide. The main findings of this report are that ongoing support and community participation are key ingredients to creating capacity for information-based jobs in rural areas. Additionally, the report notes that knowledge of a community’s current skill set is important in determining the potential e-work that could be created there.

Links of rural jobs created by broadband in Washington state: here.

Some examples or rural businesses making productive use of broadband here in Oklahoma:

Agritourism (Sayre, OK)
2,300 acre working ranch with cattle, longhorns, horses, and buffalo (Stroud, OK)
1,000 acres with fishing, kayaking, horseback rides

Services (Allen, OK)
Grant writing and technology consulting services for school districts (Sequoyah, OK)
Supplier of computer software and consulting services for utility districts and general businesses (Noble, OK)
Professional website design (Claremore, OK)
Website design, marketing assistance, search engine optimization

Retail (Blanchard, OK)
Commercial janitorial / cleaning and paper products

Food and goods (Bartlesville, OK)
Homemade candles (Enid, OK)
Homemade salsa, chips
Over 100 cooperative members selling their products online!

On-line courses
Another large benefit of broadband technology is the ability to take educational courses from the comfort of your own home. Courses can range from earning a high-school equivalency degree to a college or even graduate degree. Some of the more popular sites are:

GED equivalency (~$45)

Associate / Bachelor / Graduate degrees (typically $300 - $500 per credit hour)