Does Broadband Bring More Jobs?

from the questions-to-ponder dept

There have been plenty of anecdotal stories, and evidence in the form of big companies opening offices in places due to widespread broadband access, but now a new study is saying communities that have widespread broadband had “more rapid growth in employment,” while also increasing the number of businesses in the area, especially in tech related fields. This probably isn’t that surprising, though it’s tough to see what the real relationship is. Is it the broadband that attracts jobs? Or is it the employees from these companies that make it attractive to offer broadband? Or, is it something different entirely that’s causing both factors to increase? From a policy standpoint, it would seem like a more detailed study might be useful. In the meantime, though, we’ll point you to an interesting article comparing the state of muni-broadband today with the state of electric utilities a century or so ago. There are definitely some very interesting parallels: “the expansion of electricity, Baller argued, showed that the presence — or even threat — of competition from the public sector is one of the surest ways to secure quality service and reasonable prices from private enterprises delivering critical public services.”

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