FTTH Council Releases First-of-Its-Kind Study on Economic Impact of U.S. Fiber Networks

September 23, 2014

The Fiber-to-the-Home Council Americas (FTTH Council) recently shared the findings of new research conducted by Analysis Group Principal David Sosa on the economic impact of fiber-to-the-home networks in U.S. communities. The study, "Early Evidence Suggests Gigabit Broadband Drives GDP," released by the FTTH Council, looked at 55 communities in nine states and found a positive impact on economic activity in the 14 communities where gigabit Internet services are widely available. As gigabit services become available in more communities, the impact on economies and consumers is likely to be substantial, according to the study. The research suggests that the 14 gigabit broadband communities enjoyed approximately $1.4 billion in additional GDP when gigabit broadband became widely available. The study also found that these gigabit broadband communities exhibited a per-capita GDP approximately 1.1 percent higher than the 41 similar communities with little to no availability of gigabit services. Furthermore, if the 41 communities in the study without gigabit broadband were to adopt the new service, they could expect as much as $3.3 billion in additional GDP.

"At the dawn of the next generation of Internet connectivity, we investigate whether the deployment of gigabit broadband, which represents a 100-fold increase in throughput speeds for households and small businesses, can be expected to produce economic benefits similar to the previous transition from dial-up to 'always on' broadband," according to Dr. Sosa's report. "Although gigabit broadband is in its infancy, we have an initial opportunity to empirically examine the relationship between availability of gigabit broadband services and economic activity at the community level. Our study suggests that communities where gigabit broadband was widely available enjoyed higher GDP, relative to similar communities where gigabit broadband was not widely available."

Read the report

Read the FTTH Council press release

Read a Washington Post article on the study