Rural Youth Say Cellphones and Broadband Internet ‘Essential’

For Immediate Release
Contact: Hillary Crowder, 703-351-2086,

Arlington, Va. (October 20, 2015)—The Foundation for Rural Service (FRS) released its “2015 Rural Youth Telecommunications Survey,” with a key finding that 72% of rural teens consider broadband Internet access as a determining factor in where they will ultimately decide to live. More than 96% of survey respondents have an Internet connection in their home.

The biannual survey had 665 rural youth respondents between the ages of 14 and 19. Sixty-two percent of the survey respondents are female. Respondents cited homework and research as their predominant online activities. Other popular online activities include online communities, email, Web surfing, downloading music and shopping. Forty-eight percent of respondents receive Internet access from their local telephone company, but a quarter do not know the name of their Internet service provider.

“Today’s youth are important consumers of telecommunications services,” said Rick Schadelbauer, economist for NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association. “Understanding their preferences and decision-making rationales is critical to securing their business and determining the technology needs of tomorrow.”

“The survey is a great way to know more about young technology consumers in rural America,” stated Jessica Golden, executive director of FRS. “Their access to essential telecommunications technologies and services plays a crucial role in their educational needs, in staying connected and in accessing consumer goods. They are vital to the future growth of their communities and the national economy.”

For the full report, visit


The Foundation for Rural Service (FRS), in cooperation with NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association and its members, seeks to sustain and enhance the quality of life throughout rural America by advancing an understanding of rural telecommunications issues. FRS is committed to educational achievement in rural communities, recognizing that tomorrow’s economic and civic development depends on the involvement and commitment of today’s youth. Visit us at

NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association is the premier association representing nearly 900 independent, community-based telecommunications companies that are leading innovation in rural and small-town America. NTCA advocates on behalf of its members in the legislative and regulatory arenas, and it provides training and development; publications and industry events; and an array of employee benefit programs. In an era of exploding technology, deregulation and marketplace competition, NTCA’s members are leading the IP evolution for rural consumers, delivering technologies that make rural communities vibrant places in which to live and do business. Because of their efforts, rural America is fertile ground for innovation in economic development and commerce, education, health care, government services, security and smart energy use. Visit us at