A new U.S. study quantifies fibre to the home's contribution to jobs and the economy. It is well known that the Internet has been an economic catalyst, boosting productivity and innovation, creating jobs and raising incomes around the world. Numerous studies have documented the benefits of "the first transformative leap in Internet connectivity", as always-on broadband replaced dial-up. Now the preliminary results of a study carried out by consultancy firm Analysis Group for the FTTH Council Americas point to a definite and quantifiable impact of next-generation speeds.
Specifically, they studied communities in the U.S. with access to gigabit speeds – the sort of speed only available over a fibre network – representing a 100-fold increase in Internet throughput speeds for households and small businesses. The study examined the relationship between availability of gigabit broadband services and economic activity at the community level.
"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" said Heather Gold, president of the FTTH Council Americas.
"Every community should be a gigabit community," she concluded.