Broadband Key Driver of State Economic, Social Growth

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December 5, 2012

Broadband Key Driver of State Economic, Social Growth

Washington State Tops Ranking of U.S. States Benefiting from Broadband

Washington, DC – States with high levels of investment in their broadband infrastructure stand a better chance of seeing economic benefits, according to a new study. TechNet, a bipartisan policy and political network of CEOs that promotes the innovation economy, today unveiled its 2012 State Broadband Index assessing state policies and business climate that impact broadband deployment and demand. The Index also offers stakeholders a roadmap for accelerating progress in building a more innovative and competitive economy.

The report, “TechNet 2012 State Broadband Index: Where States Rank as They Look to High Speed Connectivity to Grow Strong Economies and Vibrant Communities,” found that states actively investing in and utilizing broadband networks are seeing stronger economic growth, better connected communities and enhanced quality of life. Achieving higher network speeds depends upon private investment and, where necessary, appropriate public policies and investments.  Specifically, the TechNet State Broadband Index rates the states on indicators of broadband adoption, network quality, and economic structure as a way of taking stock of where states stand in broadband deployment and adoption.


“The TechNet State Broadband Index highlights the important role of the states in determining our nation’s broadband future,” said Rey Ramsey, President and CEO of TechNet. “Simply put, broadband is the foundation for our nation’s continued technology and economic leadership. Broadband is shown to help create economic growth, job creation and many other benefits.  We applaud all the states at the top of this index for their leadership in building the broadband infrastructure that is helping deliver economic success and improved quality of life for millions of our fellow citizens.”


“TechNet’s Broadband study confirms the importance of high speed Internet access for our state,” said Washington Governor Chris Gregoire. “Our companies and residents are innovators, and they make the most of the high-speed networks in our communities. Washington’s broadband environment has grown through years of planning and commitment, and we welcome the findings released today.”


With the State Broadband Index, TechNet examines the key role that states and policies can play in making broadband available to all Americans. The State of Washington tops the TechNet State Broadband Index, driven by an economy that has a strong orientation toward information and communication technology and apps development.  Massachusetts and Delaware round out the top three states with Massachusetts’ cluster of universities and tech companies and Delaware’s high network quality and concentration of corporate headquarters reliant on broadband connectivity.


“Massachusetts is a world leader in the innovation economy because of our infrastructure investments and broadband expansion is a key part of that strategy.  We are committed to ensuring dependable, high-speed Internet access is available to every home and business in the Commonwealth by June 2013,” said Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick. “This study reaffirms the importance of our partnerships with private industries and Massachusetts’ leadership in the areas of broadband development and innovation.”


“We must create the conditions that both drive innovation and foster a globally competitive environment, ” said Delaware Governor Jack Markell. “Delaware is broadband rich. Our existing network is a valuable asset that allows us to support existing companies and continually expand our economic impact.”


The study takes a quantitative approach to rank each state based upon their approach to improving the broadband climate through the development of the index, which includes data on adoption, network speeds, and economic structure, and includes case studies on six states to illustrate the varied approaches to building broadband infrastructure taken by individual states.  States are actively pursuing ways to use broadband to promote economic development, build strong communities, improve delivery of government services, and transform education strategies. The ingredients for meeting those goals are fast and ubiquitous broadband networks, a population of online users, and an economic structure that helps drive broadband innovation and investment in new broadband uses. Not all states have these ingredients in equal measure.


“Broadband is the firm foundation for technological and economic growth in our states, our nation and our world,” said Blair Christie, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Cisco.  “The communities best able to connect the unconnected will see huge growth opportunities that we can scarcely imagine today.   Broadband is transforming health care, improving educational opportunities and job training, and providing businesses with the tools they need to grow in the modern economy. We congratulate the bold leaders who have shown the vision to connect more people in their states to high-speed broadband.”


According to the report, the following are the top ten leading states in the nation in the development of broadband infrastructure that is promoting economic development, stronger communities, improved delivery of government services, and upgraded educational systems:


  1. Washington
  2. Massachusetts
  3. Delaware
  4. Maryland
  5. California
  6. New Jersey
  7. Vermont
  8. Virginia
  9. Utah
  10. New York


The report also includes a section on states that are considered “overachievers” when it comes to broadband.  The criteria for overachievers are divided into two categories: 1). States without inherent advantages in broadband such as low population density or a population that has low socio-economic indicators; or, 2.)  States that may have low to middling rankings but those rankings would be lower if not for good choices at both the public and private sector levels to help the broadband environment.  According to the TechNet report, the states that rank as the top overachievers include California, Delaware, Indiana, Nevada, North Dakota and Oklahoma, among others.


For a copy of the full report, case studies and a further description of its underlying methodology, please go to for more information.  The State Broadband Index was conducted by TechNet Senior Fellow John B. Horrigan, PhD and TechNet Innovation Fellow Ellen Satterwhite and was underwritten by Cisco.


Facts About Broadband:

  • According to Connection Nation, broadband-connected businesses report annual median sales revenues approximately $300,000 higher than revenues for businesses without broadband.
  • According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, more than 68 percent of U.S. households today use high-speed broadband access.
  • According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, online high school graduates are two times more likely to go to college as those who are not online.


About TechNet:

TechNet is the national, bipartisan network of CEOs that promotes the growth of technology industries and the economy by building long-term relationships between technology leaders and policymakers and by advocating a targeted policy agenda. TechNet’s members represent more than one million employees in the fields of information technology, biotechnology, e-commerce and finance. TechNet has offices in Washington, DC, Palo Alto, Sacramento, Seattle, Boston and Austin, Texas. Web address: You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter at @technetupdate.