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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70 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | www.broadbandcommunities.com | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2015 CONFERENCE COVERAGE Fiber for the New Economy Highlights of BroadBand Communities ' September 2015 conference, held in Lexington, Ky. A BBC Staf Report F iber broadband can boost local economies, said presenters in the "By the Numbers" session of the Fiber for the New Economy conference. Heather Burnett Gold, president and CEO of the Fiber to the Home Council Americas, reported on two studies that the council had commissioned. Te frst study reviewed preliminary data on the efects of gigabit networks, using statistics from 2011 and 2012, when gigabit service was just beginning to be introduced. Comparing 14 metropolitan areas in which more than 50 percent of residents had access to gigabit broadband with a control group of 41 similar metropolitan areas in the same states, researchers found that the gigabit areas had about 1.1 percent higher per-capita gross domestic product than the control areas, after accounting for other drivers of GDP. In the second FTTH Council study, economists reviewed the efects of fber broadband on sales prices of single-family homes throughout the United States from 2011 through 2013. Because housing markets are more location-specifc than job markets, this study was much more granular than the frst – it compared census block groups (geographic areas of about 600 to 3,000 people) rather than metropolitan areas. More than a half-million home sales were examined. Te study showed that the availability of FTTH in a census block group added 1.3 percent to the average home price. Te availability of gigabit broadband service added another 1.8 percent to the average home price, for a total efect of 3.1 percent, or about $5,400 on average. "Tat's the equivalent of a freplace or half a bathroom," Gold said. THE DESIRABILITY OF PLACE Market researcher Michael Render of RVA LLC discussed several research fndings that confrmed the value of fber broadband. For example, business executives surveyed by Area Development magazine said the availability of advanced broadband was the fourth most important of 36 factors that would infuence their decisions to relocate a company. In a 2015 RVA survey, respondents ranked very-high-speed broadband second (below only safe streets) among factors people would consider in moving to a new community. When Render asked them about their interest in moving to specifc cities, he found a correlation between respondents' interest and the availability of high-speed broadband in the city. Good broadband is highly important to residents of multifamily housing, according to The Economic Value of Fiber Broadband Nicol Turner-Lee, Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council: The 15 percent of Americans who are not Internet adopters are the low-income, disabled and rural populations. So the poorest and neediest Americans still do not have access to something that is necessary for improving their quality of life.