Full fibre broadband networks could add nearly £2bn to the Scottish economy
Full fibre broadband networks could add nearly £2bn to the Scottish economy by enabling more homeworking, a new report has suggested.
The report, carried out by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) on behalf of Openreach, calculated that if more parents with dependent children, working-age carers and older adults could enter the workforce, it could add £1.94bn to Scotland’s gross GVA.
It estimated that increased remote and homeworking through better broadband could mean 76,000 more people entering the workforce and free up working-age carers to work 24,000 more hours.
The report suggests that across the UK as a whole productivity could be boosted by £59bn by 2025 by the rollout of full fibre broadband.
In addition, across the UK 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.
The report’s 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.
“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.
“We look forward to working closely with the next Scottish Government to remove red tape and deliver access to full fibre to thousands more people – through our commercial programmes and in partnership – and supporting Scotland’s economic recovery.”