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Broadband Impact

October 28th, 2005 · No Comments

David Kirkpatrick writes in the US context that broadband could add $500 billion to the US GDP.

Mark Anderson, a tech pundit and analyst with Strategic News Service, defines the minimum connection that deserves to be called broadband as 1.5 MBPSenough to receive a single good video stream. By his definition, the U.S. doesnt have 32 million broadband homes, as the FCC estimates, but rather almost none.

Boosting true broadband access, Anderson contends, will help increase online spending and make the economy grow faster. According to data compiled by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 59% of broadband users bank online, compared to only 35% of those who use a dial-up telephone line to access the Internet. Broadband users also consume more news, buy more products, and play more games online. And they read more blogs and download more music.

WSJ writes about Japan:

When it comes to actually using those blazing-fast lines for tasks other than Web browsing or email, the going is slower. “In general, broadband capacity has not been fully utilized by consumers,” says Ren Tanaka, who’s in charge of corporate and strategic planning for broadband at Japan’s largest broadband provider, Softbank Corp. “Due to the lack of attractive content, the market has not really taken off.”

A look at one of Softbank’s offerings gives clues to why things are off to a slow start. Two years ago, the company launched a service called BB TV that streams television and movies to consumers over their broadband Internet connections. For the equivalent of around $27 a month at current exchange rates, users have access to 32 television channels and their pick of the provider’s 5,000 movie titles. The service is meant to be used with a set-top box that allows people to watch from their living-room TV.

A Softbank spokesman says the service has attracted fewer than 100,000 subscribers among the company’s nearly five million broadband customers.

Tags: Telecom

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