Economic Development

Small and rural businesses are the backbone of America, creating jobs for millions of our residents and revitalizing communities. Small and rural businesses can leverage broadband to find suppliers, train employees and market their products or services in a way that makes size and location less relevant than ever before.

 

What is needed to bring broadband to small and rural businesses?

In addition to broadband however, businesses also need to look at several other factors. Do business owners have the right technological tools to leverage broadband? Do existing process and procedures permit use of broadband and are employees trained to use such technologies?

The Utah Broadband Project can provide education, awareness, and facilitate communication of broadband opportunities.  But, we also need to understand how businesses would like to use broadband, and what are the barriers and challenges you face to integrating it into your company? Please share your stories with us at: broadband@utah.gov and sign up for our Twitter (@UtahBroadband) so we can keep you updated on the program activities, future funding available to states for supporting small businesses, and future meetings to facilitate solutions to our state’s small business broadband challenges.

Federal Communication Commission (FCC) National Broadband Plan

The FCC’s National Broadband Plan includes a set of ambitious goals and aspirations for broadband and our small and rural businesses. And it is just the beginning point for conversations that will be held in this state, and across the nation, about the best way to deliver and use broadband. Here are the Plan’s recommendations:

  • Give small businesses and their employees the broadband training they need to remain competitive in the global economy.  Small businesses account for a majority of the more than 1.2 million new jobs generated by the growth of the Internet during the last 10 to 15 years. The Small Business Administration and the FCC’s Office of Communications Business Opportunities should work in conjunction with leading private firms from the communications and technology sectors to provide broadband tools and training to small businesses. This kind of training will take proven ideas and practices and to help more American entrepreneurs apply them in the digital economy.
  • Build a new online national employment assistance platform to efficiently connect struggling workers with resources.  The ingenuity and drive of the American workforce has made this country an engine of growth. As our economy continues to rebuild, broadband can deliver assistance and aid to help workers get back on their feet and excel in the modern workplace. Using technology-based instruction for vocational training reduces the cost by about a third, while also reducing time required and increasing effectiveness of instruction.
  • Keep American communities competitive and innovative in the 21st century economy by putting broadband at the forefront of regional development.  Broadband allows regions and communities to compete globally, attracting new firms, investments and jobs with next generation communications infrastructure. Looking ahead, American communities without broadband will find themselves left out of the digital revolution. Local economic development plans and federal programs must take this into account when assessing the economic prospects of a community.
  • Help eliminate tax and regulatory barriers to telework so workers can do their jobs from anywhere. Next-generation technologies are connecting employers with jobs across town and across the country. Telework is a pillar of the modern, digital economy. The FCC will work with other federal agencies to serve as a model institution for the private sector by aggressively implementing policies and technology that enable teleworking.