What Gets Measured In a Cyber Economy?

What Gets Measured In a Cyber Economy?

And what is the transactional value of the internet in Rural America?  Both of which are critical questions that the Foundation for Rural Service attempts to answer with their recently released study looking to measure those key factors and others that impact our economy.

Obviously, every day consumers use the Internet for a ton of reasons – social media, commerce, entertainment, shopping, banking and the list goes on.  FRS worked with iGR to seek some insights into a few key topics 1) how frequently do consumers use the Internet for various transactional purposes – particularly shopping, banking, checking investments (ouch today on that front!), paying bills and other financial oriented transactions and 2) to what degree do those transactions end up driving actual spending?

The results were fascinating and powerful.

– Not surprising, Internet usage among urban and rural consumers was largely similar.

– Rural consumers are responsible for more than 10.8 billion Internet-driven transactions annually out of a total of 69.9 billion annual internet-driven transactions, representing 15 percent of all internet-driven transactions.

– Internet – driven transactions drive nearly 50 percent of United States gross domestic product or $9.6 trillion annually.  These transactions are estimated to grown to over 65 percent by 2022 to $14 trillion annually.

– The estimated value of rural online transactions is nearly $1.4 trillion – 14 percent of all Internet-driven transactions or 7 percent of the US nominal GDP.

More to follow as we continue to monetize the value and importance of broadband for not only rural America but for the US economy as a whole.


As a big believer (and practioner) of e-commerce, the results are not suprising but I am really looking forward to hearing more from FRS as the details continue to be crunched out and shared with our membership.  However, my latest two transactions – a new wash machine to replace my antique that had just given up and my newest rear right tire, to replace the one that clearly ran over a nail somewhere in the growing construction zone in Arlington – were your basic, old-fashioned personal transactions.


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