Huh. You know there's momentum when BusinessWeek picks up on something. Here's the quote that caught my eye in their "A Broadband Stimulus Plan" article;
But there's another factor holding back job creation in communications. Remember that the auto industry had its infrastructure—highways and streets—built and maintained by the government. Consider this: In 1965, as the interstate highway building boom was winding down, government at all levels spent roughly $12 billion on highway and street construction and maintenance, paid for in large part by gas taxes and other motor vehicle fees. The total wholesale value of new cars, trucks, and buses the same year was only about $22 billion.
In all likelihood, if the automakers had been forced to bear the full cost of building the roads and highways, they would have had to charge considerably more for their vehicles. Alternatively, fewer roads and highways might have been constructed, especially in rural areas. In either case, the process of creating jobs would have proceeded much more slowly.
Unfortunately, that's the situation of the communications industry, which has to fund its own infrastructure. From that perspective, $10 billion a year in broadband is a fairly conservative investment.
Click HERE for the whole article. Click HERE for "The Digital Road to Recovery: A Stimulus Plan to Create Jobs, Boost Productivity and Revitalize America" a report from the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation which lays out the job-creation economics. Their major findings;
1. Investments in America’s digital infrastructure will spur significant job creation in the short run.
2. Investments in America’s digital infrastructure that create a network effect (or network externality) will offer superior job creation benefits because of the “network multiplier.”
3. Investments in America’s digital infrastructure will lead to higher productivity, increased competitiveness, and improved quality of life in the moderate to long term.
Neat stuff, there's LOTS more to read in that study -- another antidote to the happy-talk we heard from the providers at the last meeting. Tip of the hat to Cory Wilson, who put me on to that article.