A study commissioned by the government found that every £1 of public investment in broadband infrastructure is projected to return £20 to the economy.
“This is an unusually high level of return for public funding,” said in the report Chris Green, CEO at the SQW group, “but we consider it to be realistic, given that broadband is a general purpose technology which has an increasingly critical role in the day-to-day operations of the majority of UK businesses. “
The report, commissioned by the Department for Culture, Media & Sport, estimated that the availability and take-up of faster broadband speeds will add about £17 billion to the UK’s annual balances by 2024.
However, the report notes, as bandwidths available in urban areas have continued to advance rapidly, there has been growing concern over the extent to which a new ‘digital divide’ is emerging, to the disadvantage of those communities left with relatively poor levels of broadband service.
They say the introduction of ‘FTTP on demand’ throughout BT’s Rural Programme intervention should have an important and sustained impact in putting the UK’s rural areas onto a ‘more level playing field’ as far as business connectivity is concerned.
In addition, better broadband will also have positive environmental impacts. The report estimates that by 2024 some 2.3 billion kms in annual car commuting would be saved, as well as 5.3 billion kms in annual business travel, as more telecommuting is enabled through faster connections.
You can read the full report here
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