With the National Broadband Plan due to Congress in just over a month and the next round of broadband stimulus funding fast approachingm, the New America Foundations Open Technology Initiative has invited Jed Kolko, Associate Director and Research Fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California, to discuss an important question: What is the relationship between broadband and economic development?An expert in urban and regional development as well as technology policy, Mr. Kolko will discuss his report: Does Broadband Boost Local Economic Development. The reports analysis relies on the fact that broadband technology has diffused unevenly throughout the United States, thus allowing for a comparison of economic indicators between areas with greater and less growth in broadband availability.The analysis attempts to answers four questions about broadband expansion and economic growth:Does employment grow faster in areas with greater broadband expansion?Does the relationship between broadband and employment differ by industry or across places? For instance, is it stronger for industries that are more reliant on technology or that use workers who are more technically knowledgeable? Is it stronger in places that are more isolated or that have higher amenities?If there is a positive relationship between broadband expansion and employment growth, does broadband expansion cause this growth?If broadband does boost employment growth, who benefits? Is employment growth accompanied by a greater likelihood of employment, higher income, or greater flexibility to be able to work from home?Joanne Hovis, President-Elect of the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors and an authority on broadband markets, and Benjamin Lennett, a policy analyst with the Open Technology Initiative, will respond to Mr. Kolkos presentation.
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