Connect Michigan Business Survey Shows Economic Benefits Of Broadband

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Fiber optic cables. Wikimedia Commons photo from Sandia National Laboratories

Fiber optic cables. Wikimedia Commons photo from Sandia National Laboratories

LANSING — Connect Michigan Thursday released a comprehensive report detailing the key role broadband plays in business performance and the implications for a continuing economic recovery.

Online sales in Michigan account for approximately $9.2 billion in annual sales revenue, but about 70,000 Michigan businesses still do not use or benefit from broadband.

“This detailed report will assist Michigan policymakers and business leaders by illustrating how accelerated broadband adoption can serve as a catalyst for positively impacting the state’s economy,” said Connect Michigan program manager Eric Frederick. “The survey results provide a platform for developing the broadband planning strategies necessary for sustaining a global, interconnected, knowledge-based economy.”

The report, titled Technology Adoption Among Michigan Businesses, is based on a scientific survey of 800 business establishments in Michigan.

Among the report’s key findings:
* Broadband-connected businesses bring in approximately $300,000 more in annual median revenues than non-broadband adopting businesses
* 74,000 Michigan businesses use the Internet to advertise job openings or accept job applications
* Over one-half of home-based businesses in Michigan (53 percent) advertise and sell their products online
* Two out of three minority-owned businesses in Michigan (67 percent) use the Internet to stay in touch with their customers
* 70,000 businesses in Michigan are still not using broadband and are unable to actively participate in the digital global economy

“The Connect Michigan program is many-faceted and the results of the business technology survey will aid in the planning efforts that are currently underway in many parts of Michigan,” said Robin Ancona, Telecommunications Division Director of the Michigan Public Service Commission.

For several years, Connect Michigan’s parent organization, Connected Nation, has worked to quantify the impact that increased broadband availability and utilization has on the economy. The broadband and business study is an annual study to provide insights in the business side of broadband adoption. Across Michigan, 69 percent of businesses subscribe to broadband service, a slight decrease from 2010 when 70 percent of businesses subscribed.

Connect Michigan’s Business Technology Assessment was conducted as part of the State Broadband Initiative grant program, funded by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. The business survey results have been independently peer reviewed, and this survey will be used by state and local leaders to help drive increased adoption and use of broadband through Connect Michigan’s Connected community engagement program.

Through broadband mapping, education, and research such as this business survey, nonprofit Connect Michigan has been working on promoting broadband access, adoption, and use since 2009. Find out more at www.connectmi.org.

As a public-private partnership, Connect Michigan partners with technology-minded businesses, government entities and universities to accelerate technology in the state. The work of Connect Michigan is made possible by support from the Michigan Public Service Commission. For more information about what Connect Michigan is doing to accelerate technology in Michigan’s communities, visit www.connectmi.org.

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