The Connected Nation Blog: Possibilities of broadband encourage legislation

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Possibilities of broadband encourage legislation

Today, Connected Nation released “The Economic Impact of Stimulating Broadband Nationally,” a report detailing the potential state-by-state impact of legislation to accelerate broadband access and use. The report’s findings suggest that the U.S. could realize an economic impact of $134 billion annually by accelerating broadband availability and use across all states.

The report measures the impact of Connected Nation's first state-based program, ConnectKentucky. Kentucky has experienced a rate of growth in broadband adoption that is measurably higher than the nation. Over a three year period, Kentucky experienced an 83% rate of growth in broadband adoption while the national trend was 57%. By surveying consumer savings in time, miles driven and healthcare and by calculating broadband penetration’s impact on job creation/retention, the report projects the estimated annual economic benefit for Kentucky. From this data, the study extrapolates the economic impact of modest growth in broadband adoption for each state and the country as a whole.

This research as well as evidence from rural America further supports the need for state and federal legislation to accelerate broadband availability and use. In 2007, the U.S. House of Representatives voted unanimously to pass such legislation, and the U.S. Senate passed a similar proposal as part of a renewal of the Farm Bill. The Senate and the House are working to complete negotiations on the Farm Bill, including rural development and broadband elements, this month. Connected Nation urges passage of legislation that accounts for the wide bipartisan effort that has contributed to legislative progress to date so that states will be empowered to reach the potential as identified in this economic impact report.

To download a copy of the report, go to