Federal Communications Commission

Empowering Small Businesses with Broadband

September 15th, 2010 by Jordan Usdan - Acting Director, Public-Private Initiatives

This morning I attended a forum on empowering small businesses with broadband hosted by John Donahoe, eBay CEO, and featuring remarks by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski.  The event highlighted “eBay top sellers” who are owners of small businesses on eBay from around the country that all rely on broadband as a critical technology to run their business.

We at the FCC are aware of the statistics proving the importance of entrepreneurs, empowered by broadband, to our economy.  Together they create jobs and wealth and drive the country forward through innovation and ingenuity.  And we know that supporting these businesses with cutting edge connectivity is not just a good idea, but a vital national purpose.

However, no statistic or policy paper on small businesses could illustrate broadband’s power to spur job creation better than the remarkable stories I heard today from eBay sellers.  These entrepreneurs are creating jobs, boosting exports, and greening the economy through the use of broadband.  Here are just a few of their stories:

·         Using broadband and eBay, a Cleveland area seller of gaming equipment has added 37 jobs in the past year alone and recently expanded into a 200K Sq Ft closed auto plant.

·         A South Dakota seller of recycled electronics hired 30% more workers in the past year and says broadband is the only way he can run his businesses from a rural area.

·         A seller of recycled laptops, a green small business in Nevada, has 50 employees, adding 25 within the past year.

·         An auto parts seller from Massachusetts started his businesses from his garage in 1999 and now uses broadband for over 1,000 sales a day and has hired 40% more workers this year alone.

·         A Michigan seller of recycled cell phones has hired 20 people in the past 18 months and prides himself on running a green business.

·         A Massachusetts golf ball and sports equipment recycler with 75 employees, including 25 added in the past year, uses broadband to reach its customers and green the economy.

These incredible stories are just a few examples of how broadband and the Internet enable anyone with an idea to start a business from their garage and reach global markets.  Rebuilding our economy with the best broadband infrastructure and the right policies in place will allow American creativity and ingenuity to lead our country to a revitalized economy.

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