This study assesses the potential that telecommunications advances hold for rural America and is the outcome of the third in a series of policy research projects into issues relating telecommunications policy and economic development undertaken by research teams of faculty and students at the Lyndon Baines Johnson School of Public Affairs and College of Communication, University of Texas at Austin. All three projects have been concerned with telecommunications at two levels: the effects of telecommunications advances on our economy and society and the policy framework that has resulted from divestiture of AT&T. The first project studied state telecommunication policy and resulted in the publication of Telecommunications Policy and Economic Development: The New State Role (Praeger, 1989); the second, which dealt with cities and large telecommunications users, produced The New Urban Infrastructure: Cities and Telecommunications (Praeger, 1990). Telecommunications and rural development has been much more frequently researched in Third World countries than in advanced industrialized ones and this volume represents a significant contribution to the literature on the subject. The findings are divided into four general research areas. Following an introduction, Chapter Two looks at some fascinating telecommunications applications in American rural businesses from Wal-Mart, to traditional rural businesses like the lumber industry, to the opening of new businesses like telemarketing. Chapter Three assesses the use of telecommunication for delivery of public services from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to health care and distance education. Chapter Four asserts that many of the benefits oftelecommunications for rural America will only be realized if the small independent or cooperative telephone companies remain healthy and progressive. The substantial contribution to community development, from community revitalization and regional cooperation to infrastructure upgrading, is the focus of Chapter Five. A final chapter offers conclusions. This is required reading for students, scholars, and practitioners in the fields of communications/telecommunications and government.