Broadband can have a positive impact on the local economy, but the effects are likely to vary across types of firms, workers and areas.

How to evaluate this policy

To help policy makers and programme managers improve evaluation and think practically about how they can get it embedded at programme design stage, we have provided a number of case studies across our policy areas. Below we give two examples where a broadband policy intervention has been evaluated for its impact on local economic growth. (Read about our approach to this policy here).

Each evaluation case study has met our minimum standard of evidence, which means it (at least) compares what changed for the areas that benefited from an intervention with what changed over the same time frame for otherwise comparable individuals that didn’t benefit, or that received a different type of intervention.

The case studies below use a statistican approach to achieve this comparison. This approach tries to ‘strip out’ the impact of the other factors that could have affected outcomes in both the beneficiary group and the comparator group.

Evaluation need not be a very technical exercise and it can be helpful to borrow from the approaches adopted in existing studies. Read more about how to evaluate, and why we think it can be helpful to plagiarise in our How to Evaluate series. You can also read up on a number of different evaluation methods in our scoring guide to help you both judge other evaluations, and make a decision about which method to use.

Case studies: 

Norway’s National Broadband Policy

This study analyses the effect of Norway’s National Broadband Policy. Implemented from 2001 to 2007, this policy aimed to ensure that the entire country had access to broadband at a reasonable price. Read the full case study

US Department of Agriculture Broadband Loan

This study evaluates the impact of the USDA Broadband Loan programme in the United States. The programme was designed to increase broadband access in rural areas underserved by private telecommunications operators. Read the full case study

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