Early studies on impacts of broadband computer networks on society mainly focus on offering expert opinions, forecasting future trends, and speculating about the potential of the technology. More recent studies attempted to assess the penetration rate of broadband by focusing on specific types of applications requiring high speed (Chang, Lee, & Middleton, 2004; Cohill, 2005a, 2005b; Lee, O'Keefe, & Yun, 2003). These studies also attempted to quantify the subscriber volume, which stands for the number and percent of customers purchasing the service. The studies have typically covered the “private sector business case” for broadband deployment and investments (Chang et al., 2004; Cohill, 2005a, 2005b; Lee et al., 2003). This has been especially the case in the United States where there is little public investment in the technology (NBUBRC, 2006).
Other studies went further in studying the business case by attempting to provide quantitative elements on either the return on investment in broadband infrastructure or the economic outcomes of subscribing to or using broadband technology. In other words, these studies attempted to assess either how much economic activity and further investment can be attributed to broadband expenses or how much savings have been achieved, how many jobs have been created, and so on. These attempts have faced challenges with data collection. Another major challenge was the issue of isolating the quantifiable impacts or changes that can be assigned specifically to broadband usage from those which are caused by other factors (Marlin & Bruce, 2006; NBUBRC, 2006). Shaw et al, (2005) revealed that, a positive attitude doesn’t essentially result to the wished behaviour.
Ruiz (2004) found that broadband access is an important part of enhancing rural community development in the United States, improving the economy, health care, and general quality...