Consumers & Small Businesses Benefit from Being Online
Madison, Wisconsin – November 22, 2011 – Consumers and businesses will benefit from expanded high-speed broadband Internet, the Wisconsin Internet Innovation Alliance (IIA) said today, noting that tens of millions of Americans are expected to shop during this year’s Cyber Monday.
Cyber Monday is the first business day following Black Friday, the largest in-store shopping day of the year. In 2010, Cyber Monday sales topped $1 billion, setting the single-day record for online spending, according to comScore.
“Retailers seek to capitalize on Cyber Monday, attempting to attract customers through online-only promotions and sales. The day is more proof of the central role the Internet plays in our society and evidence that American consumers without a connection cannot fully participate,” said George Klaetsch, executive director of the Wisconsin Coalition for Consumer Choice, a member organization of the Wisconsin IIA chapter. “The Internet takes us to the world’s marketplace, somewhere that every Badger State consumer should be able to visit and utilize for price comparison, as well as deeper access to inventory.”
Cyber Monday sales have more than doubled since the $484 million recorded in 2005, and nearly 90 percent of retailers planned to offer special promotions for the day in 2010, according to a Shop.org survey.
Without broadband, thousands of potential shoppers, many from rural communities like those found throughout Wisconsin, will miss out on these promotions and cost savings. Wisconsin ranks 45th among all states in broadband access, according to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s National Broadband Map. And U.S. Census figures show that nearly 17 percent of households in the state report no Internet usage.
Small businesses saw a 10-percent increase in sales on Cyber Monday, according to a 2008 report from Network Solutions. Businesses in areas of Wisconsin without Internet access will miss out on any similar bump in shopping activity.
“During America’s busiest shopping season, broadband is allowing small businesses in Wisconsin to compete online and attract consumers with sales, discounts and special deals,” said John Gard, president of Wisconsin Independent Businesses, also a member organization of the Wisconsin IIA chapter. “Strong small businesses are the foundation of the U.S. economy and broadband is the foundation for our small businesses.”
IIA supports efforts to extend broadband access to consumers and businesses throughout the country by reforming the Universal Service Fund to include broadband, more efficient use of spectrum, and the proposed merger of AT&T and T-Mobile which, if approved, would extend broadband access to an additional 55 million Americans, many of whom live and do business in rural communities. Broadband supporters may sign the IIA petition calling for expanded broadband here.
The Internet Innovation Alliance 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. Find out more about the IIA at www.internetinnovation.org