Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Data, Local Towns, Municipalities, Economic Impact, Broadband Speed, Legislation, Bill, Law, Provision, Text Mining

Major Advisor

Sudip Bhattacharjee

Associate Advisor

Ramesh Shankar

Associate Advisor

James Marsden

Associate Advisor

Raghu T. Santanam

Field of Study

Business Administration


Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Open Access


Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) form the backbone of today’s technological and economic growth. Advances in ICT enabled technologies can be beneficial to the economic development of different sectors of a society. However, to take full advantage of ICT, availability of high-speed broadband is critical. Infrastructure development to provide high speed connection has huge upfront cost, and therefore posit a significant challenge for local governments, who are the primary decision makers with respect to broadband expansion plans. Scant research is available to measure the impact of broadband speed on local economies. In a related vein, the explosion in broadband speed enables rapid data sharing among multiple entities. Despite significant benefits of such data sharing, concerns over proper data protection are mounting. Legislative frameworks around such data access and protection are difficult to pass, averaging around 6% success rate over the last 20 years.

This dissertation combines data from state, federal, and commercial sources to develop predictive models to quantify the impact of bandwidth expansion at a local level. The predictive analysis demonstrates differing impacts related to town size and local geographies, indicating the necessity to calculate benefits before implementing bandwidth expansion decisions. A causal analysis using an instrumental variable approach finds that broadband speed significantly improves a town’s household income and real estate development. Turning to the legislative action, analysis of U.S. Congressional bills shows that legislation addressing data protection and associated ICT issues may take several attempts and more than two years to pass. The study also finds that the textual information in bills augments traditional metadata in determining the key influential factors of such legislative success. Overall, to the best of my knowledge, this study is the first to provide significant insights to decision makers for ICT investment at local level, and legislative success factors for ICT related bills at the national level. These issues greatly affect technology availability and associated regulatory framework in different sectors of the society, and impact both personal lives and markets.