Study from Openreach quantifies economic impact
Credit: Carsten Rehder/DPA/PA Images
Full-fibre broadband networks could provide the UK with a £60bn boost within the next four years, a report has suggested.
The study, carried out by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) on behalf of Openreach, calculated that the nearly two million more people could work from home, one million more people could return to the workforce, 500,000 people could move to rural areas and 700,000 tonnes of carbon would be save from reduced commuting. All of which, it estimated, would provide £59bn in productivity benefits by 2025.
In Scotland, in particular, it found that more parents with dependent children, working-age carers and older adults could enter the workforce, adding £1.94bn per year to the value of the Scottish economy.
The findings were welcomed by the new chair of Openreach Scotland, Katie Milligan, who said: “This report illustrates just how game-changing the roll out of full fibre broadband across Scotland’s rural and remote communities could be. The pandemic has reinforced public recognition of the importance of high-quality broadband and we’re clear that fibre has a significant part to play in Scotland’s recovery.
She added: “The CEBR findings show accelerating the build would pay huge dividends to Scotland’s economy as a whole and be instrumental in bringing people back into the workforce who haven’t previously had the ability to navigate other commitments or find opportunities in their local area.”