Rural America to Soon Realize Economic Benefit from Cloud Computing

Several hurdles remain, but rural telecommunications operators are positioned well to capitalize

DENVER (April 25, 2019) — While cloud computing has seen tremendous growth in urban areas in the past few years, rural communities have seen less progress. This is about to change with the advent of the hybrid cloud model and the developing edge computing market, according to a new report from CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange Division (KED).

Prior to the hybrid cloud model, organizations owned and operated their own servers and data centers, or they didn’t use data centers at all. Now, organizations are able to more cost-effectively scale their IT resources by using a combination of on-premise, private and third-party public cloud services. This hybrid computing model will be important as 5G networks are deployed, driverless cars enter rural roadways and the agricultural industry evolves to need computing power closer to where the source of the data is derived.

“Hybrid cloud adoption is expected to grow in rural America and it will deliver both economic and social benefits,” said Jeff Johnston, lead economist with CoBank’s KED. “However, the lack of broadband access and qualified IT talent are impediments to rural America realizing the full benefits the hybrid cloud offers.

A video synopsis and the full report, “Digital Clouds are Brewing over Rural America,” are available at

About CoBank

CoBank is a $139 billion cooperative bank serving vital industries across rural America. The bank provides loans, leases, export financing and other financial services to agribusinesses and rural power, water and communications providers in all 50 states. The bank also provides wholesale loans and other financial services to affiliated Farm Credit associations serving more than 70,000 farmers, ranchers and other rural borrowers in 23 states around the country.

CoBank is a member of the Farm Credit System, a nationwide network of banks and retail lending associations chartered to support the borrowing needs of U.S. agriculture, rural infrastructure and rural communities. Headquartered outside Denver, Colorado, CoBank serves customers from regional banking centers across the U.S. and also maintains an international representative office in Singapore.

Media Contacts

Julie Davis
Corporate Communications

Leslie Hagele
Corporate Social Responsibility

Dave Harding
Knowledge Exchange