In a multi-faceted survey released earlier this month by Broadband Illinois, Illinois households rated fiber-optic internet connections highest in terms of speed, reliability and value. However, households in rural and isolated areas of Illinois are almost four times as likely to have a dial-up connection.
Conducted in 2012 and released this month, the “Broadband Illinois eSolutions Benchmarking Report” received responses from 2,129 Illinois households. Key findings of the household report focus on internet usage, benefits and barriers. Selected results are broken down by characteristics such as household income, connectivity type and rural versus non-rural regions. Other sections of the report focus on Illinois businesses and community anchor institutions.
New Report Highlights Broadband Utilization in Illinois Regions, Industry Sectors
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.
Available 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.
From www.scoop.it – April 8, 5:27 PM
Illinois businesses view high-speed internet as a source of job creation, an important way to present themselves to the world and as a way to improve internal operations, according to a multi-faceted report released today by Broadband Illinois.
Conducted in 2012, the study contains detailed information on the impact and utilization of high-speed internet on Illinois businesses, organizations and households in 10 multi-county regions called eTeams. A key objective of the initiative was to better understand the socio-economic impacts of broadband on communities and regions in Illinois through both qualitative and quantitative measures.
In working across the globe and working with multiple carriers deploying new, more robust broadband networks, Strategic Networks Group consistently comes up against the notion that once the network is built, adoption will naturally follow. “Build it and they will come” is a school of thought that expresses the great hope that potential subscribers will naturally adopt, however this notion goes against what we have always known about technology adoption.
Meanwhile, broadband is broadband for many consumers and businesses – who do not see the difference, nor what is possible with ultra-fast broadband (e.g. fiber / Fiber-to-the-Home). On the other hand, organizations like US Ignite are forming to promote “Next generation Applications,” specifically new applications in education, healthcare, clean energy, public safety, and workforce development, including advanced manufacturing. These require the ultra-fast broadband connectivity which the networks being rolled out today will provide. And before we get to “Next generation applications,” consider the bandwidth required to support online collaboration so critical to being competitive in a 21st century economy.
Dr. Maryalice Wu and Ms. Shavion Scott attended the 2012 Illinois Broadband Research Conference at the University of Illinois at Chicago to present on behalf of the Center for Digital Inclusion and its work on the Urbana-Champaign Big Broadband project (UC2B). The conference was hosted by Partnership for a Connected Illinois (PCI), also known as Broadband Illinois, a statewide, nonprofit organization. As UC2B launches as the fastest, one of its kind broadband project in the nation designed to create digitally inclusive communities in Urbana and Champaign, Broadband Illinois seeks to foster and support broadband innovation statewide. Their mission is to ensure broadband access throughout the State of Illinois, maximize broadband’s impact and use, and collect and publish broadband-related data, information, and research. You can learn more about them at www.broadbandillinois.org.
I participated at the Norwegian fiber conference “Fiber 2020”, arranged by the Norwegian “Fibersellskapet” in January 2013. There was a long list of interesting speakers lined up, for example Karin Ahl, president at the FTTH council, and Frode Støldal, the CTO of Telenor. There was however one speech in particular that caught my interest more than the others, the speech from Michael Curry, President at the Strategic Networks Group.
• Digital Economy statistics
• If you cannot measure it, you cannot manage it
• Telework is a good application of the NBN but needs to be benchmarked
To his credit, Senator Conroy set some hard quantitative targets to be reached by 2020 for the eight goals of the National Digital Economy Strategy. In the case of telework, the goal is to “double the level of teleworking so that at least 12% of Australian employees may work away from the traditional workplace”. That implies it is about 6% now – right?
Wrong. The latest figure we have is indeed 6% but it comes from an ABS Time Use Survey conducted in 2006 – the figure is 5 years old! Worse, the next survey will not be conducted until 2013. The hard 12% target may not be so hard to achieve given the changes in broadband availability over the last 5 years.
If you cannot measure it, you cannot manage it. This is not difficult to fix; although I should declare an interest in the proposed solution.
Last year, the Strategic Networks Group (SNG) found that 18.9% on average (25.6% in metro areas) teleworked in North Carolina; with about half of these reporting that they telework more than 3 days a week! SNG finds that collecting benchmarking data directly from organisations and households not only provides more current data of progress towards goals, but also maps drivers and barriers to utilisation
The case studies to be presented at the DBCDE-AIIA teleworking forum on the 3rd of August are fine. But there is no reason to expect things to change without an execution framework that engages end-users directly – in itself this promotes awareness and drives utilisation of broadband-enabled solutions.
Name: John de Ridder
Title: SNG Associate
Company: SNG https://www.sngroup.com/ or http://www.deridder.com.au/
John is a former Telstra chief economist who has been consulting to public and private organisations here and overseas. His main expertise is in broadband, pricing and regulation.
OTTAWA, CANADA – Organizations are more efficient the greater the Internet speed they have available to them, according to new research from Strategic Networks Group. The message: Speed matters, regardless of how it is delivered.
For fiber users, the positive ROI on e-solutions for improving productivity is 8.9 percent higher than for cable users and 14.2 percent higher than for DSL users. The importance of broadband for adopting new operational processes is 8.1 percent higher than for cable users and 10.3 percent higher than for DSL users. And the importance of broadband for improving staff skills is 14.3 percent higher than for cable users and 14.8 percent higher than for DSL users.
The benefits of broadband are derived from how it is used; not just having access. While the supply plan is well-developed, there is no execution plan yet to ensure that faster broadband is fully exploited and that without an action plan that engages end-users directly, the expected benefits of broadband will not be realised.
At last, the focus on the NBN is shifting from supply -“When and what will we get?”- to demand -“How will we use it?”. The benefits of broadband are derived from how it is used; not just having access. While the supply plan is well-developed, there is no execution plan yet to ensure that faster broadband is fully exploited. Without an action plan that engages end-users directly, the expected benefits of broadband will not be realised.
Let’s take telework as an example. It is an obvious application for fast broadband and we have known about that for a long time. To his credit, Senator Conroy has set some quantitative targets to be reached by 2020 for the eight goals of the National Digital Economy Strategy. In the case of telework, the goal is to “double the level of teleworking so that at least 12% of Australian employees may work away from the traditional workplace”. That implies it is about 6% now – right?
Wrong. The latest figure we have is indeed 6% but it comes from an ABS Time Use Survey conducted in 2006 – the figure is 5 years old! Worse, the next survey will not be conducted until 2013 with results not available until 2014. The hard 12% target may not be so hard to get – I suspect that with the changes in broadband availability over the last 5 years, we may already be at 12%.
My point is that if you cannot measure it, you cannot manage it. We have a strategy and goals but no framework for execution that provides better information on where we currently are. Furthermore, we do not have actionable intelligence on barriers to adoption and gaps that will need to be addressed.
It is not difficult to fix; although I should declare an interest in the proposed solution.
The Government’s 12% target for telework may have been inspired by the reference in the NDES document to 11% of US employees teleworking at least 1 day a month. That must be an old figure. Last year, the Strategic Networks Group (SNG) found that 18.9% on average (25.6% in metro areas) teleworked in North Carolina; with about half of these reporting that they telework more than 3 days a week!
What we need is e-solutions benchmarking data gathered directly from organisations and households that not only provides more current data of progress towards NDES goals, but also maps drivers and barriers to utilisation and captures the benefits. In the case of telework, for example, comparisons for the same type of organisation across different regions would point to where non-users could usefully be educated about the benefits. The framework that SNG uses also allows individual respondents to compare themselves with their peers.
Case studies like those to be presented at the DBCDE-AIIA teleworking forum on the 3rd of August are fine. But there is no reason to expect that preaching the virtues will be any more successful than it has been to-date. We need an execution framework that engages end-users directly, which in itself promotes awareness and drives utilisation of broadband-enabled solutions.
John de Ridder represents the Strategic Networks Group (SNG; www.sngroup.com ) in Australia.
Note: The 6% figure is used in the ABS Household Use of Information Technology, Australia, 2007-08, Cat No 8146.0, 18 December 2008