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Telecommunications Sector Invests in the National Economy

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. HULTGREN. Mr. Speaker, as the national economy continues to struggle, I would like to highlight an encouraging development with regard to the telecommunications sector. As the attached synopsis of a recent report by the Progressive Policy Institute indicates, investment in the economy is a critical factor in promoting growth, creating jobs, and stimulating productivity. I applaud the telecom industry for its contribution to this effort.


While the domestic economy continues to struggle, a new report shows that the telecommunications space remains one of the biggest investors in attempting to boost the nation's fortunes.

The Progressive Policy Institute report, ``Investment Heroes: Who's Betting on America's Future,'' found that among non-financial institutions, AT&T and Verizon Communications were the two top investors of capital expenditures in the country last year. AT&T took the top spot with a reported $20.1 billion in investments in 2011, with Verizon investing $16.2 billion.

``The exponential growth in consumer demand for cable and wireless data services makes it both a necessity and an incentive for these companies to invest in building out their service capabilities,'' the report noted. ``Investment is what led to development of the latest high-speed 4G networks, estimated to be 50% more efficient in streaming wireless data than its 3G predecessor. What's more, the commitment of these telecom companies to investment in wireless infrastructure, cable communications, and processing equipment is a good example of how investment can have important spillover benefits. By using the infrastructure developed and maintained by telecom companies, companies that develop software applications for smart devices along with companies that provide Internet services--like Facebook and Twitter--are able to innovate and get those innovations to consumers quickly. Because of the broadband networks in place these non-telecom companies are able to expand their businesses and service offerings.''

Other telecom-related companies on the list included Comcast at No. 8 with $5.3 billion in investments; Southern Company, which owns wireless operator SouthernLINC, at No. 10 with $4.5 billion; Sprint Nextel at No. 16 with $3.1 billion in investments; Time Warner Cable at No. 19 with $2.9 billion in investments; Google at No. 24 with $2.2 billion in investments; and Apple at No. 25 on the list with $2 billion in investments.

``The role of investment in the economy is essential,'' Diana Carew, an economist at the Progressive Policy Institute and co-author of the report, told Breakout ``It creates jobs. It boosts wages. It boosts productivity. It stimulates growth. It affects millions of Americans in a very positive way.''

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