Superfast broadband creates £690m economic boost

The rollout of superfast broadband across the country has helped create 49,000 local jobs, according to an official report.

The report, published yesterday (August 20) by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, claims the official rollout programme has boosted the British economy (Gross Value Added) by £690m since it was first announced in 2010.

It also claims the programme has created 49,000 local jobs, as well as helped cut the number of people claiming jobseekers allowance by 9,000 in programme areas.

The report estimates the total turnover of firms located in postcodes covered by the programme has increased by almost £9bn in response to the upgraded infrastructure.

And the report adds the programme has delivered £12.28 benefit per business for every £1 invested by the Government and local authorities.

According to the latest official figures, superfast broadband is now available in 95.39% of British homes and businesses.

‘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,’ said digital minister, Margot James.

‘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.’

In response to the report, the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed (IPSE), said the Government should double-down on its roll-out of broadband to rural areas.

‘Our smallest businesses – self-employed, independent professionals – are dependent on fast, reliable broadband in order to operate, particularly as more people are choosing to work from home,’said IPSE Policy Development Manager, Jordan Marshall.

‘Poor connectivity acts as a lag on productivity, hindering individuals who might otherwise consider starting their own self-employed business,’ added Mr Marshall.

‘Business is becoming increasingly digitised, and we risk leaving people behind if the pace of the roll-out slows.’

To read the full report, click here




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