Date on Honors Thesis

Spring 4-22-2021


**Jesse D. Jones College of Science, Engineering and Technology**


Economics; Organizational Communication

Examining Committee Member

Chris Wooldridge, Advisor

Examining Committee Member

Warren Edminster, PhD, Committee Member

Examining Committee Member

Sunayan Acharya, PhD, Committee Member

Examining Committee Member

David H. Eaton, PhD, Committee Member


The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), passed in 2009, provided funds to help the American economy recover from the 2008 economic crisis. More than $7 billion was designated to the advancement of broadband services, and critically, improvement in broadband infrastructure and adoption in underserved areas. This thesis sought to discover if there is a significant causal relationship between the amount of ARRA funding given to a U.S. state and its increase of broadband availability/adoption rates between 2010 (when all ARRA projects were announced), 2013, and 2016 (after all projects were completed). After running various regressions, I found that there is no such relationship between a state’s logarithmic level of ARRA funding and percent increases in either availability or adoption rates. In fact, only one regression displayed any significant causal relationship at all: a negative relationship between funding received and a state’s 2016 adoption rate. The results, explained below, contain lessons for policymakers going forward as society’s dependence on high-speed internet continues to increase.