Can people in rural areas benefit from the internet? Yes, they can. It is important that people do not limit the opportunities that they have with the internet. This is a dynamic tool that is able to adjust according to the needs of its users. It is also the future for all business models. Any person that owns up to computer literacy has to also think about the things that they might do to improve their competency in that area. If they do not, then the online market will not be kind to them. The opportunities for offline business are narrowing on a daily basis.
In order for entrepreneurs to cope with limited opportunities, they have to diversify into the online market. There is no reason why a rural farmer cannot open up a website where they advertise their produce. Supermarket contracts will become much easier if they do not have to travel to the city to deal with the sales representatives. They can use email to send pitches and get feedback from the prospective buyers. It is all about convenience and the ability to use the tools that are available on the market. The entrepreneurs that can get on the program will be handsomely rewarded.
There are some quarters that believe in the limitations of communications systems within the context of rural settings. Many countries cannot to provide free broadband services to their citizenry. It is then left for the private sector to provide these services at a cost. Unfortunately many rural people simply do not have the money to pay for such luxuries. The next best alternative is for government to provide some element of payment protection. This is the dreaded subsidy but it can at least ensure that merchants are able to do business online regardless of their income levels.
Norway has been a shining example of what can be done with the provision of broadband services. It is now a right for its citizenry to get access to high speed internet. That means that people who live in rural areas can continue to be active participants in the commercial world. That gives them an opportunity to be active members of the business community. It also means that they increase the chances of success given the reductions in transportation costs. The scheme is noble and effective. It is now just a matter of government will and prioritization as to whether it can spread out.