AT&T-funded report finds broadband driving job growth in Illinois

A new study conducted for AT&T (NYSE: T) and a coalition of 12 Illinois industry and community groups revealed that investments in broadband in the state helped to create over 13,000 jobs in 2010 and 2011.

Dubbed the Illinois Partnership for the New Economy & Jobs, the coalition was created with the mission of modernizing Illinois' telecom regulations.

"Illinois' law mandates investment in the 100-year-old technology of wired telephones to your home," said coalition Chair David Vite in a Southern Illinoisan article. "Those dollars would be better used for private investment in broadband networks that are currently creating new jobs."

Conducted by two economists, the study estimated that $2.2 billion was invested in enhancing the state's wireline and wireless networks to deliver broadband services. In 2012, there were almost 20,000 jobs related to mobile applications.

AT&T said it had invested $3.5 billion in Illinois alone on its overall wired and wireless broadband networks since 2009.

Other than to say they have begun working on its proposal, the coalition has not revealed any specifics of its plan.

Illinois may be the latest state to update the aging telecommunications regulations that were created at a time when the only telecom application was voice, but they are certainly not the only one to make that move.

Both Maine and New Hampshire updated their century-old telecom regulations last April and June, respectively. The modernization of telecom regulations in these states has enabled their incumbent service provider FairPoint Communications (Nasdaq: FRP) to respond to CLECs and cable operators with IP-based services like Ethernet and VoIP that are no longer subject to regulation.

For more:
- The Southern Illinoisan has this article

Related articles:
AT&T sees consumer services grow to $5.5 billion in Q4, driven by IP data
New Hampshire to overhaul its century-old telecom rules
Maine's new telecom regulatory structure allows FairPoint to respond to competition