General

There are two new reports worth checking out today. FIrst up, a look at the benefits of broadband for businesses courtesy of Connected Nation:

• Nearly one in three businesses (32%) earn revenues from online sales. This translates into more than 2.4 million U.S. businesses

• Broadband-connected businesses bring in approximately $300,000 more in annual median revenues than non-broadband adopting businesses

• An estimated 4.4 million U.S. business establishments have websites, including more than 2 million businesses with fewer than five employees

• Teleworking also continues to have an impact in the marketplace, with 24% of rural businesses and 35% of non-rural businesses currently allowing employees to telework or telecommute

• Minority-owned businesses in the U.S. account for $49 billion in annual sales revenues from online sales (or 12% of total online sales in the U.S.). A large percentage of minority-owned businesses report using broadband to handle some or all of their business functions (79%, compared to 76% of all businesses on average)

Connected Nation’s full “2012 Jobs and Broadband Report” is available on their website (PDF). It’s worth digging in to.

Also worth checking out is “Connecting the Dots: Linking Broadband Adoption to Job Creation and Job Competitiveness” (PDF) from the National Urban League, which examines where the digital divide persists in America, and highlights how expanding access helps drive employment and opportunity in the African America community. From the report’s findings:

Overall broadband adoption gap is narrowing: In 2010, the home broadband adoption gap between African Americans and white Americans was 11 percentage points—in 2009, this was 19 percentage
points (56% for African Americans and 67% for white Americans in 2010).

Target broadband adoption efforts at high school dropouts and households below $20,000 annual income: This group has persistently low broadband adoption—38% of African American and 51% of white American high school dropouts adopted broadband in 2010.

Close broadband adoption gaps by linking it to jobs: Segment of African American population with low adoption has the most interest in using broadband for jobs—77% of African Americans and 17% of white American high school dropouts used broadband to search for jobs in 2009.

African Americans are underrepresented in broadband jobs and businesses: African Americans were 8% of broadly-defined STEM occupations in 2010 and made 0.23% of revenues in information sector businesses in 2007. Broadband adoption can be leveraged to change this.