The creative industries potentially contribute much to the social and economic viability of rural regions. This paper explores the role that broadband connectivity plays in the development of professional and creative practices. In particular, we explore the extent to which broadband connectivity can reduce the penalty of distance for rural creative practitioners, and equally, how a lack of connectivity impacts upon the development of the rural creative economy. Our findings suggest that access to broadband of at least 2 megabits per second, download speed, had become crucial for those working in the creative sector at the time of the fieldwork (this minimum critical speed is now likely to be faster). A lack of adequate access may have a negative impact upon rural communities through prompting out-migration to areas with better digital connectivity.
Bibliographical noteThe research reported here is supported by the award made by the RCUK Digital Economy programme to the dot.rural Digital Economy Hub (award reference: EP/G066051/1).