Study indicates huge economic potential has been unlocked by full-fibre

Key to Great British growth could lie beneath our streets

A report released last month has demonstrated the billions of pounds of productivity, innovation and employment benefits that could be unlocked by the widespread construction of full-fibre networks, suggesting that the solution to Britain’s growth could lie beneath our feet, with dbfb ready to unlock it.

After reading this study by economic consultancy Regeneris, commissioned by digital infrastructure builder and our partners; CityFibre, which examined ten areas of the UK economy likely to benefit from full-fibre roll-outs. I decided to make it’s conclusions a little more digestible…

According to researchers, the UK’s business community, most particularly its small and medium sized companies, could stand to benefit enormously. Access to full-fibre could unlock £4.5bn in business productivity, innovation and access to new markets in these locations; a further £2.3bn in growth could be driven from catalysing new business start-ups; while the increased ability for companies to support flexible working could add £1.9bn.

The economic impacts unlocked by full-fibre in these 100 locations will extend much further. Full-fibre is an essential platform for the roll-out of 5G, unleashing £28bn in benefits, as well as for the Internet of Things and Industry 4.0, where £10bn in benefits can be expected. Wider Smart City enablement, from infrastructure and services to smart energy networks, could add as much as £5bn in the 100 locations examined in the report, while technological improvements in the delivery of healthcare services are worth £1.1bn.

While the report does not seek to provide one single economic impact figure, it does add to the growing body of evidence pointing to the immense scale and scope of economic uplift, that is likely be created by full-fibre. Research from the FTTH Council in the US suggests that providing full-fibre to just half of all premises in a location could result in a 1.1% rise in annual GDP. Applying this to the 100 distinct city and town economies in the Regeneris report would indicate total economic impact of full-fibre in these places alone could be in the region of £120bn. Nationwide full-fibre coverage across the UK, would therefore be much higher.

Speaking of the report, Simon Hooton, Director at Regeneris, said: “Our findings clearly indicate that full-fibre will provide the core infrastructure required to kick start the next generation of digital technology and drive expansion of smart infrastructure in towns and cities where it is deployed. The result will be a modernised, more productive and innovative UK economy.”

Greg Mesch, CEO at CityFibre, explained: “The UK economy is crying out for a shot in the arm and this report clearly demonstrates that a national full-fibre roll-out would do just that. This is a discussion about far more than just broadband, it is about the digital infrastructure set to power our economy for decades to come.

“CityFibre’s roll-out across our 42 towns and cities is under-way, and we are on track to deliver our goal of full-fibre in 100 towns and cities. Given the size of the prize for the UK, all players, from industry, government, and Ofcom, need to focus on setting the conditions needed to deliver the maximum possible coverage in the shortest possible time. Only then will we unlock and unleash the full economic potential of full-fibre, and that of the towns and cities in which it is built.”

The full Regeneris report is available here:

The Economic Impact of Full-Fibre Infrastructure in 100 UK Towns and Cities – 12.03.18

Author Chloe-Mae Mcgowan

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