Study: Broadband connection worth $7,700 a year

While politicians and tech companies bandy about the billions of dollars it will cost to build a national broadband network, the Internet Innovation Alliance (IIA) has developed a much smaller, more potent number: $7,700. That's how much the average U.S. family can save with a broadband connection.

The group based its number on cost savings gained by using the Internet for entertainment ($2,700), travel ($1,500) and housing ($1,000). There's even $950 to be squeezed from online grocery shopping, the study says. On an even smaller scale--and to think, we started with billons--consumers can save $95 on gasoline (not sure how), $76 on non-prescription drugs (and every broadband user can tell you about online drug offers) and $193 on newspaper subscriptions since most newspapers give away their products online.

Estimating it would cost the average subscriber about $490 a year to get broadband, Bruce Mehlman, co-chair of IIA concluded: "Broadband is a great investment for penny pinchers."

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