BROADBAND COMMUNITIES is the leading source of information on digital and broadband technologies for buildings and communities. Our editorial aims to accelerate the deployment of Fiber-To-The-Home and Fiber-To-The-Premises.
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28 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | www.broadbandcommunities.com | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2015 ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT New Research on Economic Development Fiber deployment in the United States is delivering measurable economic and social benefts. More deployment and more benefts are expected in the next few years. W hen the Great Recession took hold in 2009, the federal government responded with a comprehensive stimulus package to get the economy moving again. About 1 percent of the stimulus funds were devoted to improving broadband infrastructure, and the majority of the broadband funding went to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) for its Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP). Tis program disbursed grants for building or expanding middle-mile networks in each state and connecting community anchor institutions to them. To fnd out whether BTOP's infrastructure program achieved its intended purpose, the NTIA commissioned ASR Analytics to study the program. ASR used a variety of techniques, including comparative case studies of BTOP- funded projects, input-output analysis of the short-term economic impacts of all BTOP budgetary spending, and a matched-pairs analysis of the counties served by infrastructure grants. Here's what it found: • Between June 2011 and June 2013, the projects increased broadband availability (service with at least 3 Mbps download speed and 768 Kbps upload speed) by an estimated 2 percent beyond the changes in broadband availability that other areas experienced. • Long-term increased economic output: For the base case of a 2 percent increase in broadband availability, BTOP infrastructure spending could be expected to yield between $5.7 billion and $21.0 billion in increased output annually. • Long-term increased levels of employment: Te additional broadband infrastructure provided by BTOP could be expected to create more than 22,000 long-term jobs and generate more than $1 billion in additional household income each year. Using another method, researchers estimated that at least 6,900 long-term jobs could be created in the year following the construction of BTOP infrastructure and potentially each year for at least the next four years. Tese employment increases would result in an increase in household income of more than $300 million each year. • Value to new broadband subscribers: Te estimated value of broadband to new subscribers is approximately $2.6 billion per year. • Reduced prices and improved service for community anchor institutions (CAIs): In general, CAIs connected by projects in the evaluation study sample saw a decrease in their monthly Internet subscription costs per Mbps. Community anchor institutions served by BTOP infrastructure experienced a decline in broadband prices of approximately The Broadband Stimulus Did Stimulate the Economy