The Lost Economy

New Study Confirms Significant Economic and Consumer Benefits of 5G Hinge on Streamlined Infrastructure Policy

October 30, 2017

Deployment of next-generation or “5G” networks in the United States is expected to generate $533 billion in U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) and $1.2 trillion in long-run consumer benefits according to a new analysis released today by the American Consumer Institute (ACI).

The data serves as the inaugural report for the new “Lost EconomyTM” series, an independent research program sponsored by ACI that identifies regulations and policies that impede private enterprise, delay investment and deter market entry, thereby impacting national and state economic output and jobs.

“This new analysis confirms that, under the right regulatory and policy frameworks, there will be a spur in next-generation network infrastructure investment, resulting in economic growth, job creation and increased consumer welfare,” said Steve Pociask, President and CEO of ACI.

The analysis, “The Economic and Consumer Benefits from 5G Broadband Service Investment,” confirms that explosions in U.S. wireless subscriber connections (400 million in 2016) and data traffic are driving increased consumer demands for faster and more robust wireless networks. Separate studies cited in the ACI analysis also confirm 5G technology could produce $1.8 trillion in savings over seven years, while self-driving cars and connected devices for health applications could produce annual economic benefits of $447 billion and $305 billion, respectively.

However, the ACI report observes multiple impediments that remain ahead of successfully upgrading the nation’s wireless infrastructure in all 50 states, 3,000 counties and 20,000 incorporated places, including recognition of timely approvals of applications and permits from state and local governments.

“Many states have already begun modernizing their rules to encourage 5G investment. Those states will likely be the first to experience the benefits talked about in this report. Those who are behind could see less investment and not get all the benefits, which is not in the public’s interest,” added Pociask.

To view the full analysis, click here.

To learn more about the “Lost Economy” project, click here.