Faster broadband drives £9bn surge for businesses

The government has estimated that the Broadband Delivery UK project, with an investment of more than £1.6 billion, extended its Superfast Broadband to over 95% of UK premises and has delivered a £9 billion surge in turnover for businesses.

The findings have been published in a report titled The Evaluation of the Economic Impact and Public Value of the Superfast Broadband Programme, and covers the period from 2012 to 2016.

The report boldly states: “areas covered by the Government’s rollout of superfast broadband have seen a combined £9 billion increase in turnover since the boost to their broadband speed.”

Other findings in the report show that the move to superfast broadband delivered a £12.28 benefit for every £1 invested by central and local authorities. There was also a £690 million net increase in Gross Value added to the UK economy. Furthermore, the switch is said to have reduced the number of individuals claiming jobseeker allowance and created about 49,000 local jobs.

It is said there was a strong indication that the project had encouraged expansion within the telecommunications industry. The target is to ensure access to fast and affordable broadband is provided to all homes and businesses by 2020.

Minister for Digital, Margot James MP said: “Our rollout of superfast broadband across the UK has been the most challenging infrastructure project in a generation but is one of our greatest successes. We are reaching thousands more homes and businesses every week, that can now reap the clear and tangible benefits that superfast broadband provides. We are helping to ensure the downfall of the digital divide.”

Almost five million homes and businesses now have superfast broadband. The programme is ongoing and intends to cover around 98% of premises by end of 2020.

The government’s aim is to switch all of the UK to full-fibre broadband by 2033 rather than continue to rely on existing copper networks.