I’ve Got Broadband and So Should You
With a weak economy, unemployment close to 10%, even more people underemployed and our everyday expenses costing us more and more, we need to find ways to stretch our heard earned dollars every way we can. One of the easiest ways to do this is by sitting down at a computer connected to the internet.
With broadband internet access, New Yorkers are able to tap into better bargains and save money. A new study by the Internet Innovation Alliance, based on data provided by the 2010 Consumer Expenditure Survey released by the U.S. Department of Labor, found that New Yorkers can save as much as $8,000 a year. You can see the details of the study on their website: www.internetinnovationalliance.org
So just how great are the cost savings from using broadband? Website like Groupon and LivingSocial allow users to cut their spending in half in areas like dining and entertainment. The Internet Innovation Alliance found that using broadband can result in 48.8% savings in annual entertainment expenses, 26% in annual food expenses, 33.69% in annual clothing expenses and 20% in annual travel costs. These savings add up to thousands of dollars and far outweigh the average annual cost of a home broadband connection. However, this purchasing power and the savings that come with broadband are not accessible to everyone. But, we can start expanding access right here in New York City.
To the readers of this blog, and in fact, the readers of most blogs, using broadband, or the very existence of this tool in the home or office, seems like a no-brainer. Many people take the use of broadband for granted. The truth is the use of this vital instrument is not as prevalent as a wired individual would think. In fact, New York ranks eighth in broadband access and Census data show that 20.7% of households in New York State report no Internet usage at all. It necessarily follows that, a greater number of New Yorkers do not use broadband, in particular. Thus, nearly one-quarter of all New Yorkers do not have access to broadband and the numerous economic benefits it brings.
And in my home borough of Queens, with a large population of low-income and limited-English households, we are less likely to tap into the power of broadband. Think of the many immigrant communities in Jackson Heights, Astoria, or Ozone Park. These are our neighbors most in need of finding cost savings.
Policymakers and the business community need to come together to expand broadband to underserved communities. Massive telecommunications infrastructure investment needs to take place in order to achieve universal broadband utilization rates. Nothing less than the financial health of millions of New Yorkers is at stake.
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