What Does Broadband Do and Don’t Make Me Think About It

by Doug Adams
It was one of those conversations you can only have at a conference, when you are exhausted after a long day, and your edit buttons are turned off. Michael Curri and I were dining with a community broadband consultant from Georgia who wanted to know, specifically, how to sell SNG’s services, designed to drive utilization and economic advancement, into her communities.

Now she wasn’t asking because she doesn’t get « it. » She understands the power of utilization and not just the power of availability. She gets what SNG does with regards to helping communities drive said utilization.  What she didn’t get after a long day of sessions and networking… is how to make it simple for communities to understand. More specifically, mayors, governors, chambers of commerce, etc.

So I was reminded of a book I read when looking into building « usable » websites called « Don’t Make Me Think. »  What does website usability have to do with this situation? Everything. After all, when designing a website – we often design it for ourselves… it makes sense to us, so it must make sense to everyone else.

It is the same with broadband. The benefits of broadband and everything that come with it are typically at our core – it is second nature. We understand the benefits that this platform for innovation provides, both economic and social. But to make it tangible, understandable, usable to most people – including most people in government – let’s answer one question. It’s a business question. What is my ROI?

So how do we make broadband’s benefits tangible? We show a track record of results. By specifically looking at the initiatives we have with Virginia, we’re able to uncover that…

The economic benefits and return on investment from driving the implementation and utilization of e-solutions are clear and compelling. The impacts vary by sector, but to examine just one – Professional and Technical Services (i.e. engineers, architects, consultants) with less than 20 employees.  Within this sector, SNG sees the economic development impact of utilization to be over 26 times return to GDP.  And so, Mr. Mayor… for every dollar you spend with SNG’s programs to drive utilization, you receive $2.80 in tax revenues times return to taxes. Learn More>>

Even for one sector and a sizeable investment, the economic impact ratios are very compelling and well worth the investment. The actual numbers will vary, but the economic case for making such investments is clear.

So while there is not « one number, » there is definitely a significant ROI multiplier – drop me an email and we’d be happy to run some scenarios for your community/region.

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