The Progressive Policy Institute (PPI) recently released its third annual report on domestic investments of American companies, dubbing the biggest spenders the “U.S. Investment Heroes of 2014.” Domestic investment is vital to driving economic growth, creating jobs, and increasing salaries. And the report shows that the companies investing the most are the very same ones that provide the high-speed broadband services that help strengthen our economy and provide ways for Americans to find those new opportunities.
For the third year in a row, AT&T tops the Investment Heroes list with an investment of over $20 billion in 2013 – Verizon is in second place, with $15.4 billion. From 2011 to 2013, AT&T bet big on America’s future, investing over $60 billion domestically. Together, the report finds, they have invested over $107 billion in our nation’s networks (both wireline and wireless) since 2011.
Greater investment in our country’s telecommunication infrastructure is especially beneficial to the Hispanic community, which tends to adopt mobile technology more quickly than other populations. As a result, we have access to high speed broadband services that enhance our lives and offer new opportunities in the workplace.
In a recent survey conducted in partnership with Mobile Future and Latinos in Tech Innovation and Social Media (LATISM), we found that mobile connectivity plays a significant role for Hispanic small business owners. The survey revealed that 90% of Hispanic small business owners reported seeing benefits as a result of mobile adoption and 62% reported seeing at least 5% business growth.
Investing in high quality communications networks will continue to deliver far-reaching economic benefits for the entire nation as well. In 2013, over 3.1 million Hispanic owned businesses contributed over $468 billion to the American economy as a result of mobile connectivity. And a PCIA study revealed that private investment in wireless infrastructure through 2017 is expected to generate as much as $1.2 trillion in economic growth, while creating 1.2 million new jobs along the way.
So, how do we keep this investment going? We need federal regulators to make sure that the proper regulatory rules regarding the Internet are in place. Any rules that stifle investment and create regulatory uncertainty will hinder the innovation we need to continue bringing our community state-of-the-art high speed Internet services and applications. With the help of America’s “investment heroes,” and the right regulatory framework, the Hispanic small business community can continue to thrive. And increased investment in our country’s telecommunications infrastructure will help ensure all Americans find a path toward a better economic future.