Since its commercial expansion in the 1990s, the Internet has continued to be adopted by consumers and businesses alike. Because of its usefulness and desirability, it has even become the subject of proposals for universal service more recently.
Almost every day we see providers extend the range of internet service. Last Wednesday, AT&T installed fiber into 93 buildings in North Carolina, providing it to over 2,500 businesses; on Friday, it extended service into over 100 buildings in Ohio. And just yesterday, TDS Telecom completed a project providing 250 households in Georgia, Telonium’s home state, with broadband. The long-term trend is clear, with solutions such as Google Fiber and Verizon FiOS also on the rise.
Benefit to the recipients of internet access are similarly matched by benefits to the providers. Telecommunication companies directly benefit from the money they receive in providing services. The publicity from expanding the range of internet is also favorable, especially with the increasing view of it as a “universal” good. Finally, companies such as Google can benefit indirectly; increased internet adoption leads to increased use of many of the products they are well known for (search, email, advertising, etc.).
With this in mind, we can expect to see continued expansion in the coming years. What are the implications of this for business? Clearly, expansion of high-speed internet (especially fiber) availability will be accompanied by expansion of VoIP phone service. Small businesses and startups will especially benefit from lower costs for their communication needs and will be able to avoid excessive expenses on the infrastructure that would be necessary otherwise.
In summary, we see that there are plenty of benefits to providers from increasing the availability of a service more and more commonly being thought of as universal. The expansion of the Internet in the coming years will definitely be accompanied by increasing adoption of VoIP and reduced costs for business.