Gigabit Availability Equals $1.4 Billion in GDP

WASHINGTON, DC — Communities with widely available gigabit access have per capita GDP that is 1.1 percent higher than communities with little to no availability of gigabit services, according to a new, first-of-its-kind study released by the Fiber to the Home (FTTH) Council Americas. The study examined 55 communities in nine states, finding a positive impact on economic activity in the 14 communities where gigabit services are widely available.

“Gigabit communities are empowered communities,” said FTTH Council president Heather B. Gold. “The study results suggest that gigabit broadband communities exhibit a per capita GDP approximately 1.1 percent higher than the similar communities with little to no availability of gigabit services. In dollar terms, this suggests that the 14 gigabit broadband communities studied enjoyed approximately $1.4 billion in additional GDP when gigabit broadband became widely available. As we look at these study results, we can clearly conclude that every community should be a gigabit community.”

The study, conducted by the economic, financial and strategy firm Analysis Group, found widespread gigabit availability contributes to the economies of communities in multiple ways, including through the direct effect of infrastructure investment and increased expenditures, as well as shifts in economic activity (e.g. job creation and occupational changes) and productivity gains. Communities with widely available gigabit access are gaining control over the factors that shape the lives of their residents, businesses and institutions. Conversely, the 41 communities in the study that didn’t have widely available gigabit broadband likely experienced forgone GDP in 2012 of as much as $3.3 billion.

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