While we’re on the topic of steps 3 and 4 and developing e-strategies for successful broadband initiatives and network builds, have you ever been asked by your constituents – how do I compare to my competition? What are other communities doing to better leverage broadband? What are the benefits of broadband should I be leveraging? In general, how am I doing?
SNG has recently announced our Digital Economy Index (DEi) – an assessment tool, an organization-specific “scorecard” that draws on information from eSolutions Benchmarking to assist small businesses and other organizations see where they stand. SNG’s DEi is a composite score of how organizations use Internet-enabled applications, or “e-solutions,” to drive productivity and competitiveness. By providing organizations’ with their DEi score, you are providing them insights into their utilization of e-solutions, how they compare to their peers, and where they can adjust to increase efficiencies, innovation, and profitability.
The Digital Economy Index helps organizations develop their own broadband adoption plan (and economic growth path). Which leads into the next step, awareness & adoption support (Step 5 of the Broadband Lifecycle, which we will discuss next month).
Broadband in a Down Economy
Across the globe the global downturn has had deep impacts. Many households are stretched thin, looking for ways to supplement lost income or to supplement declining or stagnant salaries. Recently SNG worked with the e-North Carolina Authority 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 households;
- 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.
For more information about these findings, please contact the e-North Carolina Authority who commissioned this work – see www.e-nc.org, or phone 1-866-627-8725.
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’s platform for innovation and competitiveness in place.
Want to know how your state is doing to facilitate competitiveness trhough broadband? Contact SNG today.