Washington, D.C. (May 11, 2011) — A new study by Connected Nation shows businesses with broadband have a clear advantage in revenue and thus potential job creation over businesses without it. The groundbreaking research, which can be found at www.connectednation.org/research, involved surveys of more than 9,600 businesses across a dozen states and territories and shows that businesses using high-speed Internet connections report median annual revenues $200,000 more than businesses without broadband. However, the research estimates that approximately 2.1 million U.S. businesses still do not use broadband technology today.
“While the benefits of broadband technology to businesses are clear, broadband use among different business sectors varies widely in surprising ways,” said Brian Mefford, CEO of Connected Nation. “We estimate that more than one quarter of all business establishments – over two million – do not use broadband today, and adoption rates in some crucial economic sectors like healthcare are significantly lower than average.”
Connected Nation was joined today by representatives from the Telecommunications Industry Association, Communications Workers of America, and Daphne DeLeon, state librarian of Nevada and chair of the Nevada Broadband Task Force, to announce the revelatory findings and call attention to broadband’s critical role in economic development.
“More and more businesses are embracing broadband and technology as ways of growing their sales and revenues and allowing for flexible work schedules in today’s tough economic climate,” said DeLeon.
“TIA believes broadband is a game changer for anyone that uses it,” said Grant Seiffert, president of the Telecommunications Industry Association. “There are unprecedented growth opportunities when businesses use broadband to market their services. What the Connected Nation survey shows is a classic case of the haves and have nots. We have a lot of work to do to bring down that 28% of non-users.”
Connected Nation is a non-profit working to expand broadband access, adoption, and utilization nationwide. To conduct this study, Connected Nation surveyed 9,650 businesses in 11 states and Puerto Rico to explore the technology and adoption choices of local business establishments. Unlike prior research efforts which focused on enterprise-level surveys of corporate headquarters, this approach paints a detailed picture of the business broadband landscape at the local level and will facilitate broadband policy planning in those communities.
The findings demonstrate a significant correlation between high-speed Internet adoption and a business’s bottom line, and provide a groundbreaking overview of business uses of technology. For instance:
• Businesses with high-speed Internet connections report having median annual revenues $200,000 more than businesses without broadband.
• 28% of all businesses – and 32% of small businesses with fewer than five employees – do not use broadband for their daily business needs.
• Only 63% of businesses in the Healthcare sector use broadband, representing a potentially significant loss to the economy in terms of increased healthcare service delivery costs.
• 23% of businesses let employees telework.
• Three out of five businesses that do not subscribe to broadband say that either they do not need broad¬band or they do not know why they don’t subscribe. This is by far the most often-cited barrier to broad¬band adoption, followed by the lack of a computer, perceived security risks, and expense.
“CWA believes that the expansion of robust high-speed wireline and wireless broadband will benefit America’s consumers, workers, businesses, and communities,” said Ken Peres, economist with the Communication Workers of America. “Yet, we need good data to inform policy makers and community leaders in their efforts to expand broadband access, adoption, and use. Connected Nation’s study reveals that we can clearly do better in providing access to millions of businesses. I encourage using this data to address the sectors that are clearly lagging behind.”
Working in partnership with state agencies and numerous public-private partners, Connected Nation has created broadband inventory maps, developed numerous broadband research projects, and prepared detailed broadband planning reports and analyses. Connected Nation was the single largest supplier of data to the milestone National Broadband Map released in February. The data used in the business technology assessment was collected in Nevada, Tennessee, Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota, Texas, Kansas, Iowa, Alaska, South Carolina, Florida, and the Territory of Puerto Rico.
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