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Recent News // News Release:Connect Iowa Report Details Broadband’s Impact on Businesses, Economy

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Survey of business technology adoption shows broadband an economic driver vital to continuing recovery

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Des Moines, IA – Connect Iowa today released a comprehensive report detailing the key role broadband plays in business performance and the implications for a continuing economic recovery. Online sales in Iowa account for approximately $2.9 billion in annual sales revenue, and yet 27% of businesses in Iowa still do not use broadband.

“Broadband is crucial to keeping the Iowa economy growing, vibrant, and competitive,” said Connect Iowa Project Manager Amy Kuhlers. “The findings of this research offer important information to our state’s policymakers and business leaders about how to plan further expansion of broadband access, adoption, and use and how existing services are impacting our local economy and our competitiveness on a global scale.”

The report, titled Technology Adoption Among Iowa Businesses, is based on a scientific survey of 804 business establishments in Iowa.

Among the report’s key findings:

  • Broadband-connected businesses bring in approximately $300,000 more in annual median revenues than non-broadband adopting businesses
  • 24,000 Iowa businesses use the Internet to advertise job openings or accept job applications
  • 22,000 businesses in Iowa are still not connected to broadband and are unable to actively participate in the digital global economy
  • Approximately 21,000 Iowa businesses allow employees to telework, including approximately 11,000 small businesses with fewer than 5 employees
  • About 43,000 Iowa business establishments have websites, including 21,000 rural Iowa businesses

For several years, Connect Iowa’s parent organization, Connected Nation, has worked to quantify the impact that increased broadband availability and utilization has on the economy. The broadband and business study is an annual study to provide insights in the business side of broadband adoption. Across Iowa, 73% of businesses subscribe to broadband service, a slight increase from 2010 when 72% of businesses subscribed.

Connect Iowa’s Business Technology Assessment was conducted as part of the State Broadband Initiative (SBI) grant program, funded by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). The business survey results have been independently peer reviewed, and this survey will be used by state and local leaders to help drive increased adoption and use of broadband. In particular, these surveys will be used to inform Connect Iowa’s Connected community engagement program where local and regionals volunteers in dozens of communities are undergoing a broadband assessment and identifying technology needs and opportunities.

Through broadband mapping, education, and research such as this business survey, nonprofit Connect Iowa has been working on promoting broadband access, adoption, and use since 2009. Find out more at or contact Kuhlers at or (515) 421-2561.

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