I’ve been wondering for a while if pockets of high-speed broadband will lead to mini population booms in specific regions. A new study out by the Sacramento Regional Research Institute (on behalf of AT&T) doesn’t address that issue specifically, but it does show a high correlation between broadband adoption and job creation in California.
I don’t know how you control for all of the factors affecting the availability of new jobs, but it only makes sense that broadband enables more of them. And I’d hazard that areas with ultra-broadband residential connections (20 Mbps and above) are likely to see the most benefit as individuals and businesses gravitate to these regions and take advantage of the high speeds.
The new SRRI report notes that there has been “relatively little work in the academic literature on the economic consequences of broadband,” but it also cites one study in Lake County Florida showing that an established municipal fiber-optic network correlated with economic growth at twice the rate of similar control counties. This is a small example to be sure, but I imagine will see similar results from other studies soon as more data becomes available.