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Pathways to Prosperity and Sustainable Growth

Four months after launching the Connected Life Exchange, let’s reflect back on some of the key insights that we’ve shared thus far — about the evolving nature of the Global Networked Economy, how participation transforms the way we live, work, play and learn.

We’ve started to explore the user adoption trends that can be discovered as part of the Cisco CLUE initiative, and we will be sharing more details soon. We offered examples of progressive infrastructure investment plans that not only attempt to catch up with the global market leaders, but perhaps set a bold new benchmark for others to follow.

We outlined the mobile data traffic growth trends and reviewed the amazing forecast estimates that demonstrate how more and more people will have their first Internet access experience via a mobile broadband connection – most likely on a handheld device.

We’ve provided tangible examples of the economic incentives for funding telecommunications network infrastructure investment. In addition to the anticipated short-term increase in economic growth, many nations are actively pursuing strategies that deliver sustainable results – creating new businesses and jobs in the process.

You may recall, we also highlighted how economic development practitioners are participating in the ongoing debates at the national, regional and local community level. They’re busy capturing market data and sometimes performing their own analysis — so that they can contribute to the establishment of forward-looking broadband bandwidth and infrastructure capacity goals.

Perhaps the most sobering discovery, however, was that some of the world’s leading nations — those who have already attained ICT supremacy — are not satisfied with their past accomplishments. They seek to further distance themselves from the trailing nations. Clearly, the bar of expectations can become a constant upward trajectory, with stretch-objective benchmarks set beyond the reach of others.

Economic Impact from Broadband – Latest Research

According to a recent report by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), about seventy (70) governments have already adopted a national policy, strategy or plan to promote broadband Internet access. Moreover, several developed countries made it part of their economic recovery plans — to ensure the deployment of these essential networks and to stimulate new employment.

Other nations have adopted more comprehensive policies as part of their broader strategy to develop an “information society” and to extend universal access to Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) overall.

The ITU presented the following summary of their latest research.

“First and foremost, the evidence is fairly conclusive about the positive contribution of broadband to GDP growth. While the degree to which broadband contributes to economic growth varies in different studies, the discrepancies can be related to different datasets as well as model specifications.

Secondly, broadband has been found to have a positive impact on productivity and evidence generated both at the micro-economic and macro-economic level appears to confirm this effect.

Thirdly, broadband does contribute to employment growth, both as a result of network construction programs and spill-over effects on the rest of the economy. While the deployment programs are, as expected, concentrated in the construction and telecommunications sectors, the impact of externalities are greater in sectors with high transaction costs (e.g., financial services, education, and health care).

Finally, beyond economic growth and job creation, broadband has a positive effect on consumer surplus in terms of benefits to the end user that are not captured in the GDP statistics.

These benefits include efficient access to information, savings in transportation, and benefits in health and entertainment; these benefits can be measured in terms of the difference between consumers’ willingness to pay for the broadband service and actual prices.”

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4 Comments.


  1. In the philippines, broadband is still unaccessible to most of the filipinos because high pay of subcription

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    • David Deans

      @PNoy, understood. The total cost (monthly service + taxes and other fees) for broadband internet access is the reason why many still use dial-up access — high price is still a barrier to increased adoption in the United States and parts of Europe as well.

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  2. I agree Mobile Broadband will progress with fast pace in the coming years and the cellular operators offering reasonable price will get more subscribers

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    • David Deans

      @Usman, in many parts of the world wireless broadband access may be the only available option. The lower, than typical wireline, infrastructure build-out costs are one of the primary reasons.

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