2.4 Million Jobs, Economy Boost Seen From National Broadband Push
Connected Nation compared its estimates to Kentucky's broadband efforts, which resulted in an 83% rate of growth in broadband adoption in the state.
Using the state of Kentucky's experience with its aggressive rollout of broadband, nonprofit Connected Nation reported this week that a similarly accelerated national broadband push would provide a nationwide economic stimulus of $134 billion while creating 2.4 million new jobs.
Connected Nation, which promotes the widespread use of broadband, said proposed legislation before Congress that calls for increasing broadband would provide economic stimulus similar to the boost expected to result from the recent economic stimulus package approved in Washington.
"The beauty of the broadband legislation currently in play in the midst of Farm Bill negotiations is that it would provide a jolt to the nation's economy in the near term -- to the tune that rivals the recent economic stimulus package," Connected Nation CEO Brian Medford said in a statement released Thursday.
In preparing its report, the Washington-based nonprofit extrapolated from the experience of Kentucky, where the state government mounted an aggressive -- and successful -- program to promote the spread of broadband.
Connected Nation noted that Kentucky's broadband effort resulted in an 83% rate of growth in broadband adoption, while the national rate was 57%. Connected Nation surveyed consumer savings in time, miles driven, and health care advantages and calculated the impact on job creation and retention in Kentucky.
Connected Nation noted that legislation to boost the spread of broadband in the United States has been bogged down. Current efforts to boost broadband are included in the Farm Bill, which is under consideration by Congress. Even if the legislation passes, the organization said many unserved rural areas are unlikely to get help.
In its calculations, Connected Nation said a 7% boost in national broadband adoption would also result in $662 million in savings in health care costs, $6.4 billion in annual mileage savings, 3.2 billion fewer pounds of carbon dioxide emissions annually, and 3.8 billion hours of time saved by U.S. consumers.
Kentucky launched its aggressive "Prescription for Innovation" broadband deployment program in 2004 with a goal of spreading broadband usage in the state. The primarily rural state ranked near the bottom in residential Internet use and in proportion of high-tech businesses; the state's increased broadband deployment has resulted in several improved measures.
2014 Next-Gen WAN SurveyWhile 68% say demand for WAN bandwidth will increase, just 15% are in the process of bringing new services or more capacity online now. For 26%, cost is the problem. Enter vendors from Aryaka to Cisco to Pertino, all looking to use cloud to transform how IT delivers wide-area connectivity.
The UC Infrastructure TrapWorries about subpar networks tanking unified communications programs could be valid: Thirty-one percent of respondents have rolled capabilities out to less than 10% of users vs. 21% delivering UC to 76% or more. Is low uptake a result of strained infrastructures delivering poor performance?
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of December 14, 2014. Be here for the show and for the incredible Friday Afternoon Conversation that runs beside the program.