Many rural US communities lack access to adequate broadband services. This paper draws on semi-structured interviews conducted in 2019 with 16 Regional Planning Commissions to uncover dynamics of how these intergovernmental organizations contribute to the deployment of broadband infrastructure in rural Missouri. The proposed framework integrates the decomposed Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB), the Theory of Reasoned Goal Pursuit, and Stakeholder Theory. Many participants reported a low level of involvement in broadband infrastructure initiatives even though supporting infrastructure development to promote economic growth is one of the Regional Planning Commissions' primary goals. Regional Planning Commissions are highly influenced by four primary stakeholder groups, (1) residents and businesses, (2) local governments, (3) internet service providers, and (4) state and federal government, which vary in terms of priorities and power. While defining the region's priorities with elected officials, Regional Planning Commissions often "push them forward" to recognize the necessity of broadband infrastructure. However, Regional Planning Commissions also struggle with low self-efficacy and inadequate expertise to support broadband planning efforts. The proposed framework could be generalized to understand actions and decisions by other intergovernmental organizations that have convening power and face similar power dynamics with their stakeholders.


Engineering Management and Systems Engineering


U.S. Department of Education, Grant P200A180066

Keywords and Phrases

Broadband planning; Intergovernmental organizations; Stakeholder theory; Theory of planned behavior; Theory of reasoned goal pursuit

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version

Final Version

File Type





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Publication Date

01 Oct 2022