Government Technology

Broadband's Economic Impact (Opinion)


February 26, 2010 By

Despite the volumes that have been written about broadband and the changing world -- including much that has been published under the banner of the Digital Communities program -- I'm not sure the relationship between the broadband stimulus and a healthy U.S. economy is broadly understood.

How many simply viewed the $787 billion stimulus package as a stopgap measure to create immediate jobs rather than an opportunity to reform and retool the U.S. economy for a 21st-century marketplace?

According to Cisco CEO John Chambers, the country can't accomplish such reform unless it has the infrastructure to support it.

Writing on technology blog GigaOM, Chambers suggested that 100 Mbps broadband to the home -- which both Japan and South Korea are already approaching -- could be an essential vehicle to maintain U.S. competitiveness. This will, he added, enable new collaboration at a profound level, radically changing the very way we think.

Some efforts in the past have used real numbers and realistic projections to back up broad visions like this. According to a 2007 report from the Brookings Institution called The Effects of Broadband Deployment on Output and Employment: "For every one percentage point increase in broadband penetration in a state, employment is projected to increase by 0.2 to 0.3 percent per year. For the entire U.S. private nonfarm economy, this suggests an increase of about 300,000 jobs, assuming the economy is not already at 'full employment.'"

Chambers goes much further, suggesting that based on an upcoming Information Technology and Innovation Foundation study, deploying next-generation broadband to 80 percent of U.S. homes would create 2 million new jobs.

While such projections might seem optimistic, one core mission of the Digital Communities program is to continue to explore the evolving relationship between broadband, IT and the economic health of U.S. communities.

 


| More

Comments

Add Your Comment

You are solely responsible for the content of your comments. We reserve the right to remove comments that are considered profane, vulgar, obscene, factually inaccurate, off-topic, or considered a personal attack.

In Our Library

White Papers | Exclusives Reports | Webinar Archives | Best Practices and Case Studies
Improving Emergency Response with Digital Communications
Saginaw County, Mich., increases interoperability, communication and collaboration with a digital voice and data network, as well as modern computer-aided dispatch.
Reduce Talk Time in Your Support Center by 40%
As the amount of information available to citizens and employees grows each year, so do customer expectations for efficient service. Contextual Knowledge makes information easy to find, dropping resolution times and skyrocketing satisfaction.
Emerging Technology Adoption in Local Government
In a recent survey conducted by Government Technology, 125 local government leaders shared their challenges, benefits and priorities when adopting emerging technologies such as cloud, mobility and IP. Read how your jurisdiction’s adoption of technology compares to your peers.
View All

Featured Papers