Connecting everyone in the East Midlands to ‘full fibre’ broadband by 2025 would create a £3.5 billion boost to the region’s economy, according to a new study.
The new report also reveals that 35,000 people could be brought back into the workforce through enhanced connectivity. This could include roles within small businesses and entrepreneurs – as well as allowing thousands more people to work remotely.
The figures are featured in a new report by the Centre for Economics & Business Research (Cebr) – “Full fibre broadband: A platform for growth” commissioned by Openreach, which looks at the economic impacts of a fully-fibred UK.
The research also highlights the impact full fibre broadband would have on rural towns and villages where people have traditionally moved away in search of work.
It claims being able to work from home or set up a home-based business would make these areas appealing once again to workers, boosting the local economy alongside reducing transport and housing pressures in big cities.
Robert Thorburn, Openreach Partnership Director, said: “This report looks at the significant economic benefit and jobs boost that having access to full fibre would create. Openreach – as the UK’s largest telephone and broadband network – is leading the way when it comes to full fibre. We’re reaching 22,000 homes and businesses each week (or one every 28 seconds) in places like Derby, Nottingham and Northampton and we’re looking forward to going even further in the future.
“Full fibre builds on our existing success across the East Midlands. Superfast broadband (speeds of 24 Mbps and above) already reaches more than 97 per cent of homes and businesses and Openreach’s work in the region is a combination of our own investment, our partnerships with local councils, and working directly with local communities to make faster speeds available.”
Building a nationwide full fibre network is the second-largest infrastructure project in the UK, requiring a physical build to more than 30 million front doors. The National Infrastructure Commission has estimated the cost at £33.4 billion by 2033, with the majority of this coming from private investment.