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Advancing Broadband: Private Sector Expanding Coverage and Creating Jobs

September 25, 2013

According to a March 2013 report by Charles Davidson and Michael Santorelli at New York University Law School, private broadband providers invested more than $1 trillion in broadband between 1996 and 2010 and $66 billion in 2011. Despite the proliferation in government-owned broadband networks, the private sector is still the primary driving force behind the advancement of broadband. Here are just a few recent investments and statistics we’ve noticed:

  • According to FierceBroadbandWireless, private investment in wireless broadband will result in 1.2 million more jobs over the next five years. The website reported Information Age Economics found that the $34 billion to $36 billion expected to be invested in wireless infrastructure investments every year over the next five years will “generate as much as $1.2 trillion in cumulative economic growth” and “will yield more than 28,000 new jobs in 2017 and more than 122,000 jobs during the next five years in the wireless infrastructure industry alone …”
  • To remind readers: wireless broadband has significantly expanded the percentage of Americans who have access to broadband. According to OnlineMediaDaily, “Seven in 10 American adults have a high-speed broadband connection at home as of May — up from 66% a year ago, according to the latest survey by the Pew Internet & American Life Project. Adding smartphone owners to home broadband users brings that figure up to 80%.”
  • According to a press release issued on Sept. 25, “AT&T* U-verse customers in five additional states will be able to order home High Speed Internet at speeds of up to 45 Mbps downstream and up to 6 Mbps upstream, beginning Sunday, Sept. 29.”
  • Verizon Wireless has announced it will enhance 4G LTE service in Springfield, Vt.
  • Cox Communications will offer low-cost Internet service to families in Escambria County in Florida.
  • FairPoint Communications announced in August it would use federal dollars to “expand and upgrade broadband Internet service in 44 Maine towns in unserved locations or locations with low-speed access.”