Broadband Illinois releases SNG reports

New Report Highlights Broadband Utilization in Illinois Regions, Industry Sectors

Roxana Ryan
Published: April 15, 2013

Survey: Community Anchor Institutions, Libraries Provide Consistent High-Speed Access and Training

SPRINGFIELD, Illinois, April 15, 2013 – Regional differences in broadband usage prevail in Illinois commercial businesses and public organizations, and public libraries are filling the gap by providing Wi-Fi access and one-on-one digital literacy trainings, according to a new report released by Broadband Illinois.

broadbandillinoisAvailable for download below, the “Broadband Illinois eSolutions Benchmarking Report 2013” provides qualitative and quantitative measurements of the socio-economic impact of high-speed internet access on communities and regions across Illinois. In addition, the Digital Economy Index (DEi) shows how uses of online tools vary between commercial businesses and public organizations in 10 regional eTeams.  The report also contains a sector analysis with broadband data for six types of community anchor institutions, as well as farms.

Comparisons between regional eTeams were formed though a Digital Economy Index (DEi) ranking. The index reflects an organization’s use of 17 different internet applications and processes, including everything from selling goods and services online to telework. The DEi can be used to compare organizations, regions or industry sectors. Scores can range from 0 to 10, with 10 being the highest possible use of internet applications. The average business or organization in Illinois has a DEi score of 6.47, meaning about 6.5 activities are utilized.

“A detailed look at how businesses and other organizations use broadband is essential to developing strategies to help the internet contribute to productivity,” said John Horrigan, Research Director at Broadband Illinois and Vice President and Director at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies. “The Strategic Network Group’s analysis provides insight for different kinds of businesses & organizations in different regions to help Illinois get the most out of high-speed connectivity.”

Regionally, Chicagoland businesses lead the way in high-speed internet use with a 6.71 DEi score. eTeam regions in Southern and Western Illinois lag behind with scores from 5.96 in Southeast Central to 6.05 in West Central.

“The report shows an opportunity to increase high-speed internet utilization in the regions that need it the most,” said Drew Clark, Executive Director at Broadband Illinois. “Through our broadband lifeline program, residents in Southern and Western Illinois will have access to reduced-cost computers and low-cost internet service. We hope this program will be a catalyst for economic growth and job creation.”

Index scores also varied by size of a business or organization. Smaller organizations with 0-19 employees had an average DEi score of 6.25, organizations with 50-99 employees scored a 7.06 and organizations with 100 or more employees had the highest score of 7.23.

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