Study: broadband way behind $500 B potential

Mon, 07/16/2001 - 8:00pm
Anne Kerven

Get the lead out, broadband. There's an untapped $500 billion shot in the economic arm that's just going to sit there until you hike that 8 percent penetration to at least 50 percent. Or better yet, a study says, shoot for 94 percent — the same percentage of American households with phone service.

The $500 Billion Opportunity: The Potential Economic Benefit of Widespread Diffusion of Broadband Internet Access takes a look at what would drive that $500 billion market — if only.

Authors Robert W. Crandall, from the Brookings Institution, and consultant Charles L. Jackson note five areas or activities that drive consumer benefits — home shopping (worth a potential $74 billion to $257 billion), reduced commuting (a flat $30 billion), entertainment services ($77 billion to $142 billion) , conventional phone services (a flat $51 billion) and telemedicine (about $40 billion).

Broadband access subscriptions could generate anywhere from $230 billion to $345 billion a year, while household computer and network equipment would account for $19 billion to $44 billion.

On the downside, only 8 percent of households have broadband, "Therefore, many of the valuable applications have not yet been developed," the study says.


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