Bruce P. Mehlman
The Internet Innovation Alliance is a broad-based coalition of business and non-profit organizations that aim to ensure every American, regardless of race, income or geography, has access to the critical tool that is broadband Internet. The IIA seeks to promote public policies that support equal opportunity for universal broadband availability and adoption so that everyone, everywhere can seize the benefits of the Internet - from education to health care, employment to community building, civic engagement and beyond.
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According to Accenture’s Global Survey on IT Investments, approximately 72 percent of business and information technology executives say their “organizations place greater value on the IT function today than they did before the economic crisis” and that they “view IT as an important part of their economic recovery efforts.”
Industry officials said that a $40 billion boost to the nation’s IT systems in 2009 would create 949,000 jobs, more than half of them in small businesses
In 2007, the IT sector was responsible for nearly one-fifth of overall GDP growth, triple the level of five years earlier.
The IT sector’s share of GDP grew from 7.5 percent in 2000 to 9.8 percent in 2006.
Early trials of remote controlled home energy management systems suggest the savings in energy bills could be as high as 10%, a figure that far exceeds IT energy use.
The IT sector is less energy-intensive than manufacturing and the Internet increases efficiency in every sector of the economy, including manufacturing.
Some have contended that information technology consumes 13% of U.S. electricity and will grow to 50% in 10 years.
Koomey contends “that the Huber and Mills estimates of power used by the Internet are at least eight times too high and their estimates of total power use by office equipment is overstated by at least a power of four.” Specifically, Koomey reports that the Internet consumes only 1% of US electricity not 8% and office equipment only 3% not 13%.
Effectively, IT-intensive industries are responsible for nearly all of the productivity gains experienced in the economy in recent years.
While total IT manufactured output accounted for a mere 2% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) during 1990-1995, IT capital investment contributed to nearly 30% of GDP growth for the same period.
Thus, an increase in IT investment produces a much larger increase in U.S. economic output. (p. 44)
Kevin Stiroh showed that industries with higher capital stock in telecommunications and computing equipment experienced higher productivity gains. (p. 44)
For the period 1989 to 2001, IT-intensive industries experienced a 3.0% increase in productivity, while less IT-intensive industries had productivity growth of only 0.4%. During the recent economic recession, IT-intensive industries experienced a 3.1% improvement in productivity, while less IT-intensive industries had a decline in productivity of –0.3%.