Broadband@Home = $32 Billion in Consumer Benefits

  • Broadband Penetration
WASHINGTON, DC – Consumers valued their home broadband Internet access at $32 billion in 2008, according to new research by three prominent economists. Their study shows Americans now consider broadband Internet access a necessity because they rely on it for education, health care, work, news, entertainment and civic affairs.

“What this study does for the first time is quantify the recent increases in value that Americans place on, and derive from, their broadband connections, amounting to some $32 billion per year in consumer benefits,” said Jonathan Orszag, senior managing director at Compass Lexecon and one of the authors of the study. “The increased value consumers place on broadband at home corresponds to a changing perception over time by users, with home broadband increasingly seen as a necessity for which people will find a way to pay.”

Today's benefits are only the beginning, with future broadband-enabled technologies on the horizon - think about smart power grids, enhanced communication about health status and potential treatments, and effective Web 2.0 tools for election campaigns.

Home broadband adoption increased more than sixfold between 2001 and 2008 - 66 million American households used broadband in 2008, compared with the 10.4 million that used it in 2001. Fewer of us are using dial-up (44 million households in 2001, 10 million in 2008), and households with no home Internet fell from 54 million in 2001 to 40 million in 2008.

“Once people get a taste of the entertainment, educational opportunities, social networking and everyday services that broadband access facilitates, they grasp the immense value it can add to their lives as a powerful tool, regardless of where they come from,” says Bruce Mehlman, co-chairman of the Internet Innovation Alliance. “Once a broadband user, always a broadband user.”

The greater value placed on broadband by Americans mirrors their increase in broadband usage, with home broadband market share growing from 32 percent in 2005 to 57 percent in 2008. The research data reveals sharp increases in online activities facilitated by broadband - such as a fourfold increase in the percent of households watching videos online.

Ethnicity has little relation to how people value broadband - even though there are ethnic differences in broadband adoption, all races place the same value on broadband Internet service.

“Broadband is one of the great equalizers, and it’s encouraging to see that taking advantage of the value that broadband access has to offer is now equally important to minorities,” says Larry Irving, co-chairman of the Internet Innovation Alliance. “The opportunity, for example, to benefit from eHealth capabilities with more effective monitoring and communication about health status is an advantage of broadband that far outweighs the cost of service. But none of this is possible without adoption; you have to log on to reap – and even to recognize – the benefits.”

Comments

Read what others have to say, and share your own thoughts with the community.

2000 characters remaining
Advertisement

© 2020 Broadband Properties, LLC

Privacy Policy

Web Design and Web Development by Buildable