Illinois Consumers Can Save Nearly $8,000 Annually With Broadband Internet

Lora Valentin

 

ILLINOIS CONSUMERS CAN SAVE NEARLY $8,000 ANNUALLY WITH BROADBAND INTERNET

Internet Innovation Alliance announces 2011 list of Top 10 Ways Broadband Saves You Money

Greater potential savings in housing, food, gasoline categories this year compared to last despite lower consumer spending

 

(Chicago, Ill.) – Illinois consumers can save nearly $8,000 a year by having access to and using high-speed broadband Internet, the Internet Innovation Alliance (IIA) announced today. The cost savings are detailed in a national financial analysis titled, “The Real Cost of the Digital Divide in 2011,” by Nicholas J. Delgado, certified financial planner and principal of Chicago-based wealth management firm Dignitas.

 

“Consumers are able to save online due to price comparison, access to deeper markets and the power of group-buying,” said Delgado. “The popularity of websites like Groupon and LivingSocial has skyrocketed with users able to cut their spending in half in areas like dining out, entertainment and salon services.”

 

The analysis, based on the 2010 Consumer Expenditure Survey released on September 27, 2011 by the U.S. Department of Labor, is the second in the IIA’s Cost Campaign series. Although the average annual expenditures per consumer unit fell 2.0 percent in 2010, the amount saved remained nearly the same compared to a year ago ($7,707), and the percentage of savings rose in the following four categories: 

 

Category

2009 % Savings

2010 % Savings

Housing

7.67%

9.80%

Food

25.70%

26.00%

Gasoline

4.76%

6.19%

Non-Prescription Drugs

24.20%

30.00%

 

With broadband Internet, consumers in Illinois are able to access deals, shop for bargains and leverage their purchasing power, said, Frank Koehler, Bourbonnais small business owner and member of the Illinois IIA chapter.  However, that purchasing power and the savings that come with it should be accessible anywhere in Illinois.

 

Illinois ranks 13th among all states in broadband access, according to the National Broadband Map. And Census figures show that 20 percent of households in the state report no Internet usage.

 

Factoring in the average annual cost of a home broadband connection – $490 – the typical American family could save $7,200 per year on essentials like housing, food, clothing and basics like entertainment and travel through discounts and sales only available to online consumers. The following savings are based on the average U.S. household income before taxes of $62,481.

 

Top 10: Potential Annual Savings Garnered by Broadband Connectivity

 

Category

Average Spent (Annually)*

Average Saved Due to Broadband (Annually)

% Savings

Entertainment

$5,009.00

$2,444.39

48.80%

Travel

$7,677.00

$1,535.40

20.00%

Housing

$12,963.00

$1,270.37

9.80%

Food

$3,624.00

$942.24

26.00%

Apparel

$1,700.00

$572.73

33.69%

Automotive

$29,217.00***

$438.26****

1.50%

Newspapers

$218.87**

$195.19

89.18%

Gasoline

$2,132.96

$132.03

6.19%

Non-Prescription Drugs

$390.90**

$117.27

30.00%

Bill Pay

$46.68**

$46.68

100.00%

 

* Average spent annually, according to the Department of Labor Consumer Expenditure Survey

** Average spent annually, according to IIA calculations

*** One-time spending

**** One-time savings

 

The Digital Divide

Millions of Americans without a broadband connection – a disproportionate percentage of whom are minorities, seniors, lower income or live in rural areas – miss out on these cost savings every day. According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, just two-thirds (66%) of American adults have a broadband Internet connection at home, and the Department of Commerce reported in February 2011 that only 60 percent of households in Rural America use broadband Internet service.

 

“Broadband service is like a treadmill; you have to use it to reap the benefits,” said Bruce Mehlman, IIA Co-Chair. “Extending broadband access to all Americans is the best way to empower them to better manage their spending in a challenging economic environment.” 

 

Proposals put forth by the public and private sectors will help bridge the Digital Divide. The Federal Communications Commission has planned to redirect Universal Service Fund subsidies from local telephone to broadband service. Additionally, IIA member company AT&T has proposed to purchase T-Mobile and, with the merger, extend next-generation mobile broadband coverage to more than 97 percent of Americans.

 

“Smart spending online can add up to a lot more money in your pocket,” said IIA Co-Chair Jamal Simmons. “For financial management, education, health care and jobs, high-speed Internet is an equalizer, a tool that stretches across socioeconomic status and provides opportunities otherwise unavailable.” 

 

For more information on the study’s sources, methodology and top 10 broadband savings chart, visit the Internet Innovation AllianceClick here to see the IIA’s first Cost Campaign analysis

 

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About The Internet Innovation Alliance

The Internet Innovation Alliance was founded in 2004 and is a broad-based coalition supporting broadband availability and access for all Americans, including underserved and rural communities.  It aims to ensure every American, regardless of race, income or geography, has access to this critical tool.  The IIA seeks to promote public policies that leverage the power of entrepreneurs and the market to achieve universal broadband availability and adoption.

 

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