We have long known that the need for national broadband solutions is very real, yet local officials continue to hit walls in their efforts to promote advancement in this area. Now, research from a national group is supporting the argument that broadband solutions across the nation is crucial to economic success.
According to this recent news piece
, the Connected Nation (News - Alert) conducted a survey of 805 businesses and found that South Carolina businesses with high-speed Internet connections reported median annual revenues of $200,000 more than the average business without access to broadband solutions.
Harold Young, Orangeburg County Deputy Administrator noted that many of the industries within the county rely on broadband solutions to handle on-site capacity. He stressed that many of these companies are several thousand to a million square feet in size, which creates challenges in getting information from one end of the business to the other. When broadband solutions and wireless capabilities are available, it is less expensive than hardwiring the entire physical location.
The county is also concerned about the future of education and makes broadband solutions a priority in the school districts. Educators stress that when broadband solutions are lacking in the home, it puts children behind the curve.
Last year, Orangeburg County was awarded more than $18 million by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development. The funds are slated to be used for construction of a broadband solutions project that will cover roughly 25 percent of the county around Rowesville, Bowman and Branchville.
Young noted the county must still clear a few legal hurdles to satisfy the conditions of the grant before the funds can be released. After this time, the project design and construction will begin.
Jessica Ditto, spokesman for Connected Nation, said the survey findings indicated only clear differences in revenue between companies in South Carolina with access to broadband solutions and those without. She stressed that in comparing businesses with different speed tiers in their broadband solutions, there was no significant difference in reported median annual revenues.
She also highlighted that the survey did not contain a large enough survey sample to estimate the adoption rate of broadband solutions among businesses in individual counties.
Windstream (News - Alert) Corp. was awarded $3 million in federal stimulus funds in 2010 to expand broadband solutions in St. Matthews, Creston, the Jamison community and some parts of Cameron. While leaders in this area have no data on companies who elected not to locate within the area due to lack of broadband solutions, the reality is that rural areas hold 16 percent of the U.S. population, demanding greater implementation of broadband solutions.
Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Stefanie Mosca