Broadband in a down economy
Across the globe the 2008-09 global downturn had deep impacts. Many households were stretched thin, looking for ways to supplement lost income or to supplement declining or stagnant salaries.
SNG worked with the e-North Carolina Authority in 2010 to conduct “eSolutions Benchmarking” across the state to understand how households are using broadband to tackle some of their challenges.
The study revealed the potential of broadband for competitiveness and economic opportunity:
- Nearly a third (31%) of the State’s broadband households operate a business from their home;
- The number of households either currently running (31%) or planning to run a business from their home in the
next twelve months (14%) is nearly half (45%) of the State’s broadband
- Even more broadband households are either now using (41%) or planning to use (24%) broadband to sell items online.
That’s nearly two-thirds (65%) of broadband households using it to at least supplement their income;
- Most (85%) of home-based businesses said that broadband was essential to their business. More than half
(54%) said that they would not be in business if they did not have broadband while two in five (41%) would have to relocate if broadband was not available in their community.
In good times and in bad, broadband is critical for community members to earn income (and extra
income). But in bad times, research shows us that home-based businesses and sole proprietorships are more likely to sprout up. More than ever, it is critical for states and communities that want to remain competitive – and even thrive – to have broadband as a platform for innovation and competitiveness.
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