The broadband industry has been a bright spot in an otherwise dark economic environment. The broadband industry has collectively invested over $120 billion in research, equipment and people over the past two years and shows no sign of reducing those investments in faster speeds, wider availability and greater customer choice.
While other industry sectors have been reducing payrolls and headcounts, the broadband industry has been hiring and training new staff.
A major focus of Broadband for America is making broadband available everywhere in the United States. Small communities which have been losing population as young people migrate to the large metropolitan areas, can re-invent themselves as great homes for small engineering, research, and consulting firms – if broadband is available.
Broadband has become a major driver for people who have lost their jobs during this recession to begin the process of re-training, joining support groups, and even attending on-line “how to look for a job” classes for senior executives.
Many sites – commercial and not-for-profit – now exist to post job listings in a wide variety of areas and a wide range of compensation. Newspapers are continuing to suffer from reduced help-wanted ads, but many higher-level jobs were never listed in a newspaper. Broadband allows for sophisticated searches to best match a job seeker’s skills with positions which are available.
In addition to the user side of the screen, content providers are constantly working to provide new systems, programs, and applications for broadband users. These require software engineers, artists, and subject matter experts to develop the applications; it also requires all the back office people – accountants, administrative personnel, sales people, and managers – to make the business function properly. All of these people have jobs because of broadband.
The future of broadband will be unlimited as long as it is driven by competition among private companies. As broadband speeds increase and accessibility improves, the number of Americans whose jobs depend on broadband will continue to increase along with it.