FTTH Council: Huge Job Gains with Modest Fed Investment in Superfast Broadband

  • Broadband Penetration
  • Broadband Stimulus
  • FTTH
WASHINGTON - A $19 billion proposal to use tax-credit bonds to fund the deployment of competitive next-generation, high-speed networks to 80 percent of U.S. homes would create 200,000 jobs annually over the next five years and add $150 billion to the nation's gross domestic product (GDP), according to a new study commissioned by the Fiber-to-the-Home Council North America, an industry association.

The study, prepared for the Council by the international consulting firmĀ Navigant Economics, calculated the capital investment required to expand current-generation broadband to all U.S. homes, as well as to extend next-generation networks delivering at least 50 Mbps downstream and 20 Mbps upstream to 80 percent of the country by 2015. It concluded that achieving both these objectives would require $77 billion in additional capital expenditure and result in an annual increase of 290,000 jobs and $236 billion in additional GDP over the five-year deployment period.

A cost-effective way to achieve a large measure of this outcome, according to the study, would be for the federal government to make available tax-credit bonds to fund investment in 50 Mbps/20 Mbps networks. This would spur $50 billion in additional capital expenditure, leading to the creation of 200,000 jobs annually over the five-year period and additional economic output of $156 billion at a cost of $19.1 billion in foregone revenues to the government.

"Compared to other stimulus packages, the broadband tax credit would be a relatively efficient use of taxpayer money," said the study's authors, Hal J. Singer and Jeffrey D. West of Navigant Economics.

FTTH Council President Joe Savage says the study points the way to an efficient means for turning ambitious broadband goals into real deployment activities that connect homes into high-speed networks while spurring job creation and economic activity.


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