Tuesday, October 04
Speaking of rural broadband, over at Roll Call, Jess Peterson of the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association and Ed Luttrell from the National Grange have penned an op-ed on how a public-private partnership will be key to connecting all of America. From the piece:
One clear pathway to increase access to high-speed Internet throughout more rural communities is through a joint effort between public and private partnerships. Our main objective is to ask government officials and representatives of private companies to collaborate and bring each sector’s strengths into a partnership that will result in making the deployment of and access to high-speed broadband a reality for all Americans.
This objective is consistent with the goal outlined by President Barack Obama in his 2011 State of the Union address to make high-speed Internet available to 98 percent of the population by 2015.
The full op-ed is definitely worth checking out.
Thursday, September 22
Earlier this week, the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland released a study, “The Facebook App Economy,” which estimated the app ecosystem of the popular social networking is now directly responsible for over 182,000 jobs. And that’s just a drop in the job creation bucket. The study also estimates the entire Facebook app economy has produced over 235,000 jobs and contributed some $15 billion to the U.S. economy.
While the current app craze may not last — at least not at its current fever pitch — there’s no denying that right now the ecosystem is thriving. And producing. And it’s not just Facebook that is growing in the app environment. Amazon, Microsoft, and the Android mobile platforms each boast healthy app stores of their own, thereby creating additional jobs, encouraging investment, and adding value to the entire economy.
Then there’s Apple’s App Store, which this past July hit two impressive milestones: over 500,000 apps available, and over 15 billion — that’s right, billion — app downloads. Think that’s impressive? Think about the number of people working on mobile apps for Apple’s service right now. Then think about the fact the company’s App Store didn’t even exist four years ago.
Just five years ago, the online economy mainly brought to mind services or advertising. But the unprecedented adoption of mobile broadband has launched a new platform where everything from a 99¢ game to an entire online book store can create careers and inspire businesses.
The mobile broadband platform has the power to drive innovation and investment for decades to come. Three short years ago, the second iPhone helped ignite the mobile broadband explosion when it made “3G” a household term. Now mobile broadband is moving into the next generation.
The LTE era is right around the corner. We should all be excited for what it will bring.
Wednesday, September 21
Last July, 10 attorneys general sent a letter to the Department Justice and Federal Communications Commission in support of AT&T’s merger with T-Mobile. Today, those same attorneys general reenforced their support. From their new letter to the DOJ and FCC:
Within the last two weeks, AT&T announced that in connection with the merger it would bring 5,000 jobs back to the U.S. and it committed to no job losses for wireless call center workers at AT&T and T-Mobile on the payroll at the closing of the merger. We again urge both DOJ and the FCC to focus on ways to resolve specific competitive concerns so this merger can proceed and deliver the significant benefits not only for wireless consumers, but also for investment and jobs that will support economic growth.
Download a PDF of the full letter.
Tuesday, September 20
With AT&T’s merger with T-Mobile still receiving scrutiny in the Beltway, things are heating up in the advertising world. Since the merger was first announced, AT&T has been touting the benefits of its joining with T-Mobile, including the expansion of AT&T’s 4G LTE network to the vast majority of America. Rival carrier Sprint, meanwhile, has attempted to counteract the merger’s benefits for consumers by hitting hard on the competition angle.
Today, things heated up a notch with AT&T running an ad against Sprint in Washington D.C.. As Shira Ovide of the Wall Street Journal reports:
As AT&T Inc. works to convince regulators and lawmakers on the merits of its proposed takeover of T-Mobile USA, the telecom giant said it is launching an advertising blitz in Washington focused on its original selling point for the deal: better wireless service.
“In case you’re wondering why Sprint is trying to kill the AT&T/T-Mobile merger… It’s all about spectrum,” reads the text of the AT&T ad slated to run starting Tuesday in publications popular on Capitol Hill, such as the Washington Post, Politico and the Hill newspapers.
Sprint has long claimed AT&T’s spectrum concerns are off the mark, which is no doubt why AT&T decided to highlight Sprint’s industry dominance in spectrum holdings. Meanwhile, Sprint is also receiving blowback on the labor front, with the Communications Workers of America — which has a good relationship with AT&T, given the telecom’s union-friendly stance — taking out ads of its own with the headline:
Sprint — a creator of American jobs? We don’t think so.
Images of the ads are available after the jump.
Monday, September 19
That’s how many jobs the fast-growing Facebook app ecosystem has created, accord to a new study from the University of Maryland Business School. As The Hill‘s Brendan Sasso reports:
Based on those figures and average salary estimates, the researchers concluded Facebook apps have added between $12.19 billion and $15.71 billion to the economy.
“Our findings confirm that social media platforms have created a thriving new industry,” Hann said. “As Facebook and other platforms grow, we will continue to see job growth and the ripple effects of these advances in the U.S. economy.”
The full study is available here (PDF).
Friday, September 16
Yesterday, Rep. Heath Shuler (D-NC) and fourteen other House Democrats sent a letter to President Obama “urging him to swiftly resolve concerns with the proposed transaction between AT&T and T-Mobile USA.” From the official press release:
“The road to economic recovery is long, but there is an opportunity before us to immediately create jobs and spur infrastructure investments and technological innovations that will create jobs for years to come,” said Rep. Shuler. “By settling the proposed merger of AT&T and T-Mobile USA we can put thousands of Americans back to work and promote economic development across the country. I urge the President to strongly consider the vast benefits this merger will have on job creation and the economy and quickly resolve any concerns the Administration may have with the proposal.”
The full list of co-signers:
Rep. John Barrow
Rep. Mike Ross
Rep. Dan Boren
Rep. Dennis Cardoza
Rep. Joe Baca
Rep. Leonard Boswell
Rep. Ben Chandler
Rep. Jim Costa
Rep. Henry Cuellar
Rep. Mike McIntyre
Rep. Mike Michaud
Rep. Collin Peterson
Rep. Loretta Sanchez
Rep. David Scott
Wednesday, September 14
That’s the percentage of adult Internet users now connected to others via social networking sites, according to a study by Pew Research Center released late last month. And surprisingly, it’s not those just past the threshold into adulthood who are jumping in the online social world the most, but rather the Boomers, whose usage on a typical day jumped a whopping 60% in the last year.
What does this tell us? For one, social networks are now a major means of communication in today’s business and social economies. And secondly, the expansion of broadband technology has made the social web faster, increasingly interconnected, and more valuable to its users. Gone are the days when online interaction seemed like a trek into the wild and unruly frontier. The rise of the social web also points to our increasing reliance on digital communication in the economy and thus to job creation and economic growth and opportunity.
Services like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn not only make it easy for us to stay connected to people important to us, they’re also playing an important role in business. More and more companies are leveraging the power of social interaction to sell products and services; for example, the emergence of local and family owned food trucks can be attributed to their use of Twitter for real time menu, location, and deal updates.
In addition to changing the conversation between businesses and consumers, the social web, networking through networks, has also enhanced the job seeker’s ability to find (and be found by) potential employers, careers, and startup business opportunities.
That’s what makes the rise of the social web so exciting to watch. When social sites first started hitting the mainstream, social networking may have seemed like little more than a fad. But from the Pony Express to email, we have always looked for new — and more immediate — ways to communicate, and social networking has taken its place as the latest leap forward.
Today, we check in to locations to find nearby deals. We check in with friends for reviews of products and services. We check in with companies to find a job. The rise of social networking has been enhanced by the rise of mobile broadband, and together they are changing our ways of communicating and the face of our economy.
All business, whether it’s conducted between co-workers or in the global marketplace, depends on interaction. You want to put America back to work? Give every American the ability to interact. Put the power of broadband — wired or wireless — in their hands.
They’ll do more than announce the score of the ball game.
Monday, September 12
In today’s edition of the Chicago Tribune, the paper’s editorial board comes out strongly in favor of approval of the AT&T and T-Mobile merger. After highlighting the negative effect the Justice Department’s actions could have on job creation, the editorial board writes:
Access to advanced wireless Internet is the key. A merger of AT&T and T-Mobile would bring an under-served swath of America into the 21st century of high-speed mobile data communication. Much like the rural electrification movement of the 1930s, this deal offers a chance for many Americans to leap ahead technologically.
If Justice gets its way, progress will slow to a crawl. We think the FCC should approve the merger after obtaining appropriate concessions — and Justice should settle its case sooner, not later. Dragging out this proceeding stands to hurt a nation that can ill afford more damage from a government too often hostile to business interests.
Read the whole thing, as they say.
Friday, September 09
At The Hill, Gautham Nagesh reports that in the wake of the Justice Department’s lawsuit to stop the merger of AT&T and T-Mobile, members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee want to have a discussion:
Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.), telecom subpanel chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) and Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) point to the nation’s unemployment rate and ask Attorney General Eric Holder and FCC chairman Julius Genachowski to what extent job creation and economic growth factor into their reviews of the merger.
“We have also seen press reports that DOJ’s ‘door is open’ if AT&T and T-Mobile USA want to address the DOJ’s ‘concerns’,” the lawmakers wrote. “We want to know what the DOJ’s specific concerns are and how these concerns relate to the impact on jobs and economic growth.”
Earlier this week, a federal judge asked both the DoJ and AT&T to mark September 21 on their calendars in order to talk through a possible settlement.
Friday, August 26
In an op-ed for USA Today, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski makes the case for expanding broadband access to create jobs:
Last century, building roads and bridges not only created near-term jobs coming out of the Depression, they laid the foundation for ongoing economic success by connecting communities and people across the country. Broadband can do the same in the 21st century. Yes, let’s repair our roads and bridges, but let’s also build the road to our economic future with broadband — especially when we can do both at the same time. And let’s make sure that all Americans and small businesses get connected.
Our economy is not where we want it to be. But if we harness the power of communications technology, and unleash the creativity of our great entrepreneurs, there’s much we can do to ensure our brightest days are still ahead of us.
The full op-ed is definitely worth the read. And for related discussions, see IIA Special Counsel Broderick Johnson’s thoughts on 4G deployment and economic growth, as well as our recent teleconference on broadband and jobs.
Thursday, August 25
On Monday, Deloitte Consulting released a study (PDF) that offers a blueprint for healing America’s ailing economy. Or at the very least, giving it a much-need boost.
“The Impact of 4G Technology on Commercial Interactions, Economic Growth, and U.S. Competitiveness” is the group’s deep dive into the economic benefits of telecoms building out their next-generation networks. At 26 pages it’s relatively lean as these types of studies go, but it punches well above its weight. From the very first page:
U.S. investment in 4G networks could fall in the range of $25-$53 billion during 2012-2016; conservatively, these investments could account for $73-$151 billon in GDP growth and 371,000-771,000 new jobs”
Those investment and GDP growth numbers are impressive, but it’s the jobs numbers that deserve laser-like focus — especially since they are estimates for 4G investment alone. As the study states:
[T]he GDP and jobs estimates do not take into account the wider effects of applying 4G technology, such as the production of new devices and applications; the creation of new companies; and better ways for working, living, and learning.
So basically, deploying 4G will create jobs during building and beyond, and those jobs will not just be through the providers but also in large segments of the economic ecoystem.
That makes 4G more than a robust digital backbone, it makes it an engine, one that has the potential to kickstart America’s economy. This is why it’s crucial for America’s regulators to continue to strike the right balance between consumer protection and encouraging America’s telecom providers to build out their networks.
That means more than allocating much-needed spectrum for wireless use, although that’s certainly critical. It also means approving the merger of AT&T and T-Mobile, which will greatly expand investment in and build-out of AT&T’s 4G LTE network.
As Deloitte’s research makes clear, next-generation 4G LTE will be critical for our economy — both in the short term and for years to come. We all know America needs jobs, and we need them now.
Yesterday, IIA convened political analysts, economists and small business owners for a teleconference exploring the impact of investment in broadband technology on jobs and economic development. Moderated by our own Jamal Simmons, participants were:
Michael Mandel, Chief Economic Strategist at the Progressive Policy Institute, founder of Visible Economy LLC, president of South Mountain Economics, senior fellow at the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School’s Mack Center for Technological Innovation, formerly chief economist at BusinessWeek
Jon Troen, Managing Partner at Catchfire Media, President and CEO of Colorfx and Rock Communications (small business owner in Des Moines, Iowa)
Corey Mehaffy, President of Moberly Area Economic Development Corporation in rural Missouri (responsible for all economic development efforts including business retention & expansion, business attraction and entrepreneurship)
The discussion addressed a range of issues, from the importance of expanded next-generation mobile broadband for small businesses, to private sector moves like AT&T’s proposed purchase of T-Mobile, which will create as many as 96,000 jobs, according to a study for the Communications Workers of America by the Economic Policy Institute.
Thanks to everyone who participated. Computer World has coverage of the event, and you can download the audio of the teleconference here.
Wednesday, August 24
Click here for sources and an embed code for your own site.
Monday, August 22
Speaking of LTE mobile broadband deployment — and the many benefits thereof — Roger Cheng at CNet highlights a new study from Deloitte that found some impressive numbers for jobs and the overall economy as providers build out their networks:
The wireless carriers’ investment in 4G networks could be the salve that the ailing U.S. economy is looking for.
The carriers could invest between $25 billion and $53 billion in building out their 4G network through 2016, according to a study from Deloitte. That in turn could lead to the creation of 371,000 to 771,000 jobs, and gross domestic product growth of $73 billion to $151 billion.
In the study (available here in PDF form), Deloitte notes those numbers for buildout are “conservative,” and when you factor in jobs beyond installing networks — new businesses and jobs spurred by expanded access and powerful technology — the overall effect on America’s economy could be enormous.
Thursday, August 18
In an opinion piece for CNN, Michael Mandel of the Progressive Policy Institute argues regulations are slowing innovation and much-needed job creation. Highlighting the Federal Trade Commission’s recent investigation into Google, Mandel also looks at the FCC’s slow movement on the proposed merger of AT&T and T-Mobile:
For example, AT&T invested $19.5 billion in the U.S in 2010, more than any other corporation, at a time when most companies are hoarding cash. But instead of applauding AT&T’s willingness to spend and create jobs, regulators at the Federal Communications Commission have recently decided to slow down their reviews of both AT&T’s bid to merge with T-Mobile and the company’s earlier proposal to buy wireless licenses from Qualcomm, which has been pending since February. The Commission’s slowdown pace adds uncertainty to the marketplace and keeps investment plans from moving forward.
The full op-ed is worth checking out. Mandel will also be taking part in our next press teleconference, which is happening next Wednesday at 2 pm ET.
Tuesday, July 12
As the California Public Utilities Commission continues to examine the proposed merger of AT&T and T-Mobile, the Communications Workers of America has restated its support for the merger. Via Rajani Baburajan of Financial Tech Spotlight:
“What we are telling the PUC today is this: At the end of the day, an AT&T/T-Mobile merger will accelerate high-speed broadband buildout to more Californians, it will positively impact consumers and it will create jobs,” said James Weitkamp, VP of CWA District 9, in a statement.
Wednesday, May 18
That’s a quote from FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, speaking at a recent event on mobile broadband, net neutrality, and spectrum in Washington DC. Mobile Marketing Watch has more on the event:
While the event centered on discussions on what can be done in relation to net neutrality across any channel, the general consensus was that it’s up to the FCC to induce the change necessary. ”The biggest remaining barrier to mobile technology is high-speed data access from anywhere,” said Computech president Larry Fitzpatrick who spoke on the panel. ”While the private sector has handled computing power and storage, it can’t solve data access on its own since it involves a public resource (spectrum) and the FCC has to be part of the solution.”
Via George Hohmann of the Charleston Daily Mail, results from a poll of economic development professionals in West Virginia show that when it comes to job creation, broadband deployment outranks traditional infrastructure:
78 percent of the respondents say it’s been their experience that businesses considering locating in their areas place high priority on access to affordable, high-speed Internet when evaluating site selections. And 66 percent say cost and capacity of broadband service are factors more than half of the time when discussing new business prospects.
Friday, April 29
Earlier this week, the Teamsters followed fellow union Communications Workers of America in endorsing the proposed joining of AT&T and T-Mobile. Now another organization, United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, has also given the deal a thumbs up.
Wednesday, April 20
A study conducted by the FCC indicated that 80 percent of all Fortune 500 companies solely accept applications online, which poses a significant barrier to Americans without broadband.
— “Expanding Opportunities in the Hispanic Community: Solutions for Increased Broadband Access,” October 7, 2010.
Learn more facts in our ever-expanding Broadband Fact Book.