Last April I wrote about the Hudson Report on the Economic Impact of Rural Broadband Industry. But back then I only had the executive summary – not the full report. Recently I got the full report with details specific to Minnesota.
The report quantifies the impact rural telecom industry has on the economy nationally…
Rural broadband companies contributed $24.1 billion to the economies of the states in which they operated in 2015. Of this, $17.2 billion was through their own operations and $6.9 billion was through the follow-on impact of their operations. The total represents the amount added to the Gross Domestic Product by this set of firms.
And in Minnesota (in 2015)…
- Direct Impact – $659.4 million
Additional Impact – $251.8 million
Total Impact – $911.3 million
- Number of Jobs – 2,527
- How much went into rural economies? $279.1 million
How much went into urban economies? $632.2 million
They also report on Regional Input-Output Modeling System indicating that in Minnesota and the Rural Broadband industry:
- Output is: 1.3819
- Earnings is: 0.2373
- Employment is: 4.7036
These numbers attempt to estimate how much a one-time or sustained increase in economic activity (such as State grants, CAF money, other inputs) will be supplied by industries located in the region.
I think it’s worth noting that investment in rural broadband does not benefit only rural economies. In fact, the urban economy gets the greatest boost. And investment yields output, earnings and employment.
It makes the case for public-private funding. The state benefits when jobs increase and funding is spent in other industries to support telecom and telecom companies benefit with added earnings.