A robust broadband infrastructure is a compelling differentiator for economic development teams. Today’s business applications require high-speed connectivity including Internet access and services supported by a fiber network. Corporate site selectors expect broadband as it is a critical piece of infrastructure for attracting new capital investment. In addition to aiding business, reliable broadband can boost the value of your home; the availability of broadband in your neighborhood could increase’s your home’s value by more than 3%.
Communities with good broadband infrastructure can support traditional office workers as well as digital workers. Digital workers are employees that work from home for themselves or a company and require services like high-speed internet access and unified communications to carry out their jobs. You want these digital workers in your community for economic development; 75% of employees who work from home earn over $65,000 per year, meaning they make more and spend more than the average office worker.
Reliable broadband enables a community to grow and prosper. Broadband attracts digital workers as well as profitable companies who do things like build Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) infrastructure. And what about the people already living in these communities? Broadband helps them too! Fast Wi-Fi allows for telehealth, or meeting with a doctor remotely from your home, as well as improves education due to distance learning. Distance learning allows students to take classes with teachers all over the world, and it allows for them to go on virtual field trips. Additionally, much of the homework students receive today requires an internet connection, and cellphones simply don’t cut it.
So compelling is the web as a business resource that modern commerce simply cannot function without it. Not only will companies find themselves at a competitive disadvantage without broadband, but communities that fail to invest in their communications infrastructure may discover that their economic development initiatives are destined for a similar fate.
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