Without broadband, communities and regions decline
Broadband is essential infrastructure. Without it, communities face population and business losses, higher costs in providing civic services, stalled business attraction, and limited economic growth. As part of a longer-term community vision, broadband and digital infrastructure is a platform for digital transformation that improves the quality of life for citizens and the economic prospects for businesses.
Local investments in digital infrastructure and transformation can pay for themselves. SNG gives communities control over this process, provides the data points for every decision the community must make, and gives them clarity on the economic case for investing in digital infrastructure – all while saving them time and money over the traditional broadband feasibility approaches that are typically taken and often fall short of meeting all the needs.
Broadband means jobs
Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are the engine of employment growth in most communities. While large employee firms often get the most attention, by some estimates SMEs generate over 50% of job growth. Effective utilization of broadband leads to financial gains for businesses, stimulating and accelerating business growth.
This naturally leads to positive employment impacts for the municipality. SNG research shows that a high use of online business practices accelerates employment growth with more than twice the job creation compared to businesses with low use of online practices.
Choosing where to live or do business
SNG research shows that having broadband is important for households and businesses for choosing and remaining in their location.
Regardless of how they are using broadband, a high proportion of households and businesses view broadband as very important, even essential, to their location. This puts pressure on communities to ensure that the quality and availability of broadband is not an issue for attracting and retaining population and businesses.
Household lifestyle benefits
In addition to the daily lifestyle benefits that the Internet offers individuals (e.g. communication, entertainment, social media, etc.), broadband offers tangible and meaningful benefits to households through opportunities for education, health services, employment, and household income. This is especially important for smaller and more rural communities that may not have the same level of services locally that are available in more urban areas. High-speed broadband is essential for effectively delivering many services and for households to benefit from the opportunities offered.
One in four households has improved their employment situation through using the internet and almost three out of four generate additional household income from internet activities. SNG’s extensive research of thousands of households shows that 13 percent have a member who teleworks and more than half access their workplace from home on a regular basis. Almost one in four households has a home-based business, while 46 percent use the internet for educational or training needs.
Smart Community Services – Not just for large cities
The smart community concept has been around for many years and there are many examples of innovative uses of technology and broadband in cities around the world. These concepts are just as applicable to communities and regions where the benefits to the community and its residents can become an additional driver and justification for investing in broadband infrastructure.
Broadband and digital infrastructure provide the enabling platform for digital transformation and delivering smart community services – which improves quality of life, reduces costs, and offers new revenue opportunities.
A growing dynamic community, or a shrinking community – the impacts of digital infrastructure on population, property values, business activity, and tax revenues are clear. Just as people cannot accept poor road, electrical, or water infrastructure, digital infrastructure is increasingly essential and an expectation for where people choose to live and do business.
Not sure where to start?
Please check out our online Community Broadband Toolkit to learn more about the steps toward taking control of your own broadband future.
Ready to start?
Making sure you are ready to successfully take action is critical. Learn about SNG’s Community Readiness Self-assessments to engage community stakeholders and optimize your success.