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[Slashdot] - Fast Internet Everywhere Could Add $160 Billion To US Economy


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The U.S. economy stands to gain $160 billion a year in extra output from a successful national high-speed internet plan that would boost labor productivity and allow more people to work from home, according to new research. From a report: The study, which is based on survey data, attempts to put precise numbers on one of the bigger unknowns in President Joe Biden's infrastructure plan: how much is universal broadband really worth? "Moving to high-quality, fully reliable home internet service for all Americans would raise earnings-weighted labor productivity by an estimated 1.1% in the coming years," economists Jose Maria Barrero, Nicholas Bloom and Steven Davis wrote in a paper released July 27. "The implied output gains are $160 billion per year," equivalent to about 0.7% of gross domestic product. The study's authors describe an "abrupt, enormous" shift to remote work as a result of the pandemic, which they expect to settle with about 20% of the U.S. labor force persistently working from home. The share could be higher for so-called knowledge workers whose jobs are mostly done on computer networks anyway.

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