Broadband investment decisions need data and insights on returns
We invest in broadband for the impacts and new opportunities it enables. Broadband is more than just internet access because its value comes from how broadband is used.
Question: What data and insights can be obtained to incentivize private investments in broadband and to make the case for public investments in digital infrastructure?
Answer: We need data and insights on broadband market potential and the returns from investing in broadband. At SNG we call this the economic case for broadband – that broadband investment solutions need to be self-sustaining and not subsidized to be effective long term. Both private and public investors need data and insights to assess a broadband market and its potential to net a positive return on investment. For this, the right information is needed and SNG has developed a holistic approach to gathering the data and developing the intelligence needed to make sustainable broadband investment decisions.
Solely relying on broadband infrastructure maps, or Form 477 data to identify which areas are unserved or underserved with broadband is not enough for those investing in broadband and digital infrastructure. To have granular, highly accurate data, SNG recommends also collecting broadband availability and service data directly from end-users because it matters whether individual businesses and households are actually getting the broadband they want and need.
SNG’s eSolutions Benchmarking (eSB) collects data directly from individual businesses, organizations, and households of how they are connected, using, and benefiting from their internet connection. This enables SNG to assess broadband market potential and develop a granular picture of gaps, barriers, and opportunities in broadband supply and demand for any market or geographic area.
SNG has conducted eSB’s for communities and regions across North America and in Europe, as well as state-wide eSBs for nine (9) American States. To date SNG has amassed an industry-unique Digital Economy Database (DED) of more than 80,000 households, businesses, and organizations across North America. In addition to collecting data for your region, the DED provides the ability to benchmark your data against data collected from other regions for comparative analysis.
Conducting an eSolutions Benchmarking provides the data points and insights clients need to:
- Optimize investments in broadband and digital infrastructure based on user-driven demand research (instead of assumed pro-forma subscription rates)
- Identify broadband needs, gaps, barriers, and opportunities – for targeting user groups, funding, and necessary technical support
- Quantify potential economic and community returns on investment based on cost-benefit analysis of demand drivers
- Provide communities, counties, regions, port authorities, tribes, etc. data for local planning and evidence-based decision-making
- Provide a baseline of data for benchmarking future progress and evaluating economic return on investments
With eSolutions Benchmarking, we help our clients make evidence-based decisions, build buy-in, and build an action plan focused on outcomes that engages the community and providers to:
- Address gaps in the meaningful use of the internet (i.e. utilization) and uncover community benefits that can self-finance digital infrastructure without raising taxes, nor taking on unsustainable debt
- Grow demand for broadband and drive network sustainability by driving demand for smart community services and online business applications
- Identify opportunities to implement smart community services that pay for themselves and enhance local quality of life
SNG takes a holistic approach to assess both current and future demand at a granular level, coupled with examination of current and potential supply-side solutions. We believe this is the basis for communities and regions to address the economic and social challenges from investing in broadband, smart community technologies, and necessary digital infrastructure for their future.
Digital infrastructure is much more than connecting to the internet, it is about digital transformation of how people live, how we do business, and how communities thrive.
Does your community need better broadband? Is your region’s infrastructure meeting the needs of local institutions, businesses, and households? How can you maximize the community benefits and economic impacts from your broadband investments? SNG helps you uncover all of this.
Each and every eSolutions Benchmarking initiative includes a full report, an eStrategy go-forward report, and access to your data. Here are some examples of our work that have been publicly released.
Get your free consultation on benchmarking broadband in your region!