WASHINGTON, D.C. –U.S. Senators Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine) and John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) today highlighted the release of a study they requested in 2008 from the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Office of Advocacy regarding the availability of broadband for America’s small businesses.  The report from the Office of Advocacy was commissioned to evaluate what broadband services are currently available to small businesses and at what cost.

“This critical report emphasizes the fact that we simply must do more to make broadband accessible and affordable for our nation’s small businesses,” said Senator Snowe, Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.  “I have heard from numerous small business owners from across Maine who depend on a fast and reliable broadband connection as a matter of basic business survival, but who regrettably are struggling for increased access and speed because rural areas still lack adequate broadband service.  Indeed, Maine is a prime example of a state where increased broadband utilization can have a dramatic impact on businesses’ ability to grow and expand by selling goods to new markets, both domestic and foreign.  It is my hope that the SBA, its resource partners, and other relevant agencies will take great strides to ensure increased small business access to broadband as they implement the National Broadband Plan.”

“Today’s study confirms that small businesses across Massachusetts are effectively utilizing the internet to create jobs, expand their market, and grow this economy,” said Senator Kerry, former Chair of the Committee.  “But it also reiterates what we’ve long known – that businesses in Western Massachusetts and other parts of the state are at a distinct disadvantage compared to businesses in big cities because fewer providers are offering less bandwidth at higher prices.  Quality broadband at competitive prices is a necessity, not a luxury, which is why we must implement the National Broadband Plan as quickly as possible to help our small businesses.” 

Senators Snowe and Kerry have previously introduced radio spectrum legislation in order to identify additional spectrum resources to allocate toward broadband and other advanced communications services.  Doing so will lead to additional choices, greater innovation, lower prices, and more reliable service for consumers.