An Estimated 1.3 Million Small Businesses Do Not Use Broadband

By Dev Joshi, Travis Lane, and John Walker, Research Analysts for Connected Nation

This week marks the 48th annual National Small Business Week that recognizes the valuable contributions by small businesses across the United States. Small businesses have always been an essential part of the United States’ growth and development, and in today’s economy, small businesses can provide the entrepreneurial leadership that America needs.

Connected Nation research shows that a lot of small businesses are not taking advantage of the benefits that broadband represents. Across the states and territories that Connected Nation serves, only 68% of small businesses with fewer than five employees use broadband, ranging from 55% of small businesses in Tennessee to nearly three out of four small businesses (72%) in Texas and Nevada.

If these percentages are applied to all businesses of this size across the United States, that would mean that approximately 1.3 million small businesses do not use broadband to advertise their products, streamline their work processes, or empower employees to telework.

Almost one-half of the small businesses that do not use broadband service (49%, representing approximately 193,000 small businesses in states and territories served by Connected Nation) said they don’t need broadband or the Internet, while 14% mentioned the lack of a computer as a barrier.

Our research shows that small businesses are missing out on an excellent return on their investment when they do not use broadband. Across states and territories served by Connected Nation, businesses with fewer than five employees pay a median monthly cost of $62.25 for broadband service and earn average annual revenues that are $50,000 higher than small businesses that do not use broadband.

Over the next few days we will continue to look at how small businesses use broadband to increase revenues, as well as specific ways (like teleworking) that small businesses are using broadband to increase their productivity.

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