New government figures have revealed that faster broadband has driven a £9bn surge for businesses across the UK.
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) say that superfast broadband has reached nearly five million homes and businesses now. This move has delivered an average £12.28 benefit for every £1 invested by central and local authorities.
These findings were revealed in a report called The Evaluation of the Economic Impact and Public Value of the Superfast Broadband Programme which covers years 2012 to 2016.
According to the report, the broadband rollout has led to the reduction of almost 9,000 jobseeker allowance claims and has created 49,000 local jobs.
Margot James, Digital Minister, said that their target was to ensure everyone has access to fast and affordable broadband by 2020.
Fast broadband is defined as speeds of 24 megabits per second and above.
The government wants to see all UK households and businesses on full fibre broadband, rather than using networks relying on old copper wire to deliver broadband, by the year 2033.
So far, 10 million households and businesses have signed up to superfast broadband. The highest rate of fast broadband availability is in the North East (97.19%), followed by South East (97.07%) and the West Midlands (96.56%). The lowest levels of coverage were found in Northern Ireland (87.74%), South West (93.34%) and Scotland (93.53%).
Recently Openreach, the firm that runs much of the UK’s telecoms infrastructure, announced a reduced wholesale price of broadband to boost the number of homes and businesses able to receive this fast service.
This means that the cost of using the network through Sky and TalkTalk would be reduced if they can increase the number of customers.
Clive Selley, Openreach’s chief executive said: “It’s great to see businesses across the UK reaping the benefits of faster broadband speeds.
“We’ve also recently introduced a raft of lower wholesale prices to help drive higher take-up of faster fibre services which will help to further fuel the boost to the UK economy.”
Are you currently signed up to superfast broadband? How would your business benefit from switching to faster broadband? Let us know your thoughts.