a m e r i c a ’ s P l a n c H a P t e r 3 the broadband ecosystem reinforces the cycle, encouraging social networking.7 However, use patterns vary significantly. service providers to boost the speed, functionality and reach of Except for high-definition video, most applications in use today their networks. can be supported by actual download speeds of about 1 Mbps While the explosive growth in the use of broadband suggests (see Exhibit 3-C). that many aspects of the American broadband ecosystem are Broadband applications are helping businesses improve healthy, there are many ways America can do better. internal productivity and reach customers. Many businesses use at least basic applications: 97% of small businesses use 3.1 appLIcatIons broadband applications may improve individual companies’ There is evidence that8e-mail; 74% have a company website. productivity.9 Though gains vary drastically depending on the Users benefit directly from the applications and content they size and type of firm, as well as breadth of implementation, access through broadband networks. Applications help people broadband-based applications may allow faster product devel- purchase products, search for jobs, interact with government opment cycles, access to new geographic markets, and more agencies and find information related to their health.1 Users efficient business processes and allocation of resources. also spend considerable time using broadband for banking, These productivity gains benefit the entire economy. shopping, entertainment, social networking and communica- Investment in information and communications technologies tion (see Exhibit 3-B).2 accounted for almost two-thirds of all economic growth attrib- Home broadband use has increased from roughly 1 hour uted to capital investment in the United States between 1995 per month in 1995, to more than 15 hours per month in 2000, and 2005.10 to almost 29 hours per month today, as consumers find more Businesses also find it valuable to collect and aggregate informa- valuable applications and content online.4 Increased hours of tion derived from use of broadband applications. More sophisticated use are correlated with increased actual speeds of broadband digital profiles of Internet users allow businesses to better un- connections to the home.5 As connection speeds have grown derstand user buying patterns. This information is also useful for and more applications have been developed, the amount of advertising or other purposes. Businesses are creating services data consumers download has increased. Today, the average tailored to individual consumers that improve their health, help them Internet user with a fixed connection consumes 9 gigabytes of reduce their carbon footprint, track students’ educational progress data per month over that connection. But that consumption and target appeals for charitable, social and political causes. varies significantly across user types, with some heavy users Businesses often use broadband in ways that are funda- consuming upwards of 1,000 GB or more each month. Total mentally different from how consumers use it. For example, data use per fixed residential connection is growing quickly, by high-capacity broadband service is often used to connect PBX’s roughly 30% annually.6 for business voice and local area networks. These mission Almost two-thirds of the time users spend online is focused critical uses require broadband service with business-grade on communication, information searching, entertainment or performance and customer support levels. Exhibit 3-B: % of home broadband users who have ever engaged in activity Percentage of Home Bought a product online 83 Broadband Users Who Got local or community news 80 Visited a local, state or federal gov’t website 79 Have Ever Engaged Got international or national news 77 in Selected Online Did any banking online 69 Activities3 Submitted a review for a product or service 55 60Got information about or applied for a job Used a social networking site 55 Got advice from gov’t about health/safety issue 54 Downloaded or streamed music 52 Uploaded or shared content 48 Played games online 48 Downloaded or streamed video 42 Posted to own blog or group blog 26 Took a class online 24 Played complicated role playing game online 14 1 6 F e d e r a l c o m m u n i c a t i o n s c o m m i s s i o n | w w w . b r o a d b a n d . g o v
The new reader is still in beta!
(c) 2013 Tizra. All Rights reserved.