The director of the Federal Reserve Bank’s “Center for the Study of Rural America” says small communities shouldn’t delude themselves into believing high-speed Internet access will be the “silver bullet” that will ensure their economic survival.

The Federal Reserve Bank’s Mark Drabenstott was in Iowa this week, just after voters in 17 Iowa towns — many of them small — passed referendums which might be the prelude to establishing a city-owned telecommunications utility.

Drabenstott says the Center for the Study of Rural America hasn’t “done a thorough review” of where high-speed Internet access is and isn’t. While Drabenstott says that kind of infrastructure is crucial to competing in the global economy, “broadband is not a silver bullet.”
Drabenstott says there “a lot of other other things” that are necessary.

For example, Radio Iowa reported earlier this week that Iowa policymakers have to figure out a way to make Iowa the kind of place where “the next Mr. Maytag” can make his dream reality. Drabenstott delivered a lecture at Iowa State University on Thursday afternoon.