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Report: Wider Broadband Use Could Create Jobs
Sep 2003
WASHINGTON, Sept. 17 -- As many as 1.2 million new jobs could result over the next decade from widespread adoption of existing and advanced broadband technologies, according to a study published by the New Millennium Research Council. More than 250,000 telecommunications service and equipment sector jobs lost between 2000-2003 could be restored inside of five years, according to the report, from Criterion Economics LLC, a Washington, D.C.-based consulting firm.

"This study documents quantitatively what many others have only hinted at qualitatively, said Hal Singer, Criterion Economics senior vice president. "The 1.2 million jobs reflect the economy-wide stimulus that results from telephone and cable industries competing to roll out DSL and cable modem service, and gradually to roll out advanced broadband service to residential and small business customers, assuming they were constrained only by consumer demand and underlying costs."

According to the study, wider availability of broadband would result in benefits for the retailing, transportation, home entertainment and health care sectors. In addition, the computer industry would experience a surge in demand because consumers would acquire new PCs with more random access memory, faster bus speeds, better sound and much higher capacity hard drives to take full advantage of advanced broadband services.

Robert Crandall, chairman of Criterion Economics and a senior fellow in economic studies at the Brookings Institution, said remaining regulations on broadband would have an immediate impact on the economy by stimulating greater investment and accelerated job and income growth.

"For these investments to be justified, however, regulators must assure investors that the returns from investing in broadband technologies will not be appropriated through the regulatory process," Crandall said. "The estimates of benefits assume that incumbent cable operators and local exchange carriers have an incentive to invest, which will require not only unbundling relief, but also elimination of existing common carrier regulations."

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