Report: Broadband Legislation Could Boost Economy

A just-released report from Connected Nation, a broadband adoption research and advocacy organization, shows that broadband legislation under congressional consideration could boost the U.S. economy by $134 billion annually if passed.

The study details the financial impact state by state and uses the organization’s ConnectKentucky program as the underpinning for the predicted economic stimulus. Connected Nation implemented this three-year initiative to promote interest in broadband in the Bluegrass State.

“We’ve measured the demand of broadband and technology expansion as we’ve gone along,” said Mark McElroy, COO and senior vice president of communications at Connected Nation. “The study looks at the growth of broadband demand in Kentucky and compares that to the demand we would’ve expected if Kentucky had followed the national trend for adoption growth. Clearly, broadband adoption would have increased on its own, but we were looking for that extra margin that we could have attributed to our program.”

According to McElroy, ConnectKentucky was funded with a $7 million investment from state government that financed Connected Nation’s broadband mapping and county-by-county promotional efforts. The program produced 297,000 more broadband subscribers (as compared to adoption rates throughout the country) than it would have otherwise gotten.

“The private-sector investment in telecom infrastructure and deployment during that time was north of $740 million,” McElroy said. “Kentucky was losing high-tech jobs before we started this program. We’ve gone from high-tech job creation of -6.4 percent to 3.1 percent. And when Kentucky experienced 3.1 percent growth in IT sector jobs,…


Brian Summerfield

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