Openreach: Full-fibre would be ‘game-changing’ for the UK economy

Openreach: Full-fibre would be ‘game-changing’ for the UK economy
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A report commissioned by Openreach highlights the “game-changing” impact that full-fibre will have on various regions of the UK.

The report, conducted by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr), calls full-fibre a “gamechanger” for London, the South East, South West, East Midlands, West Midlands, East of England, Wales, Yorkshire & Humber, North West, and North East.

Clive Selley, CEO of Openreach, said:

“Cebr’s previous research explained the economic windfall in store for the UK with a nationwide upgrade – including a £59 billion boost to productivity. And this updated report highlights how full-fibre can help to level up the UK, bringing up to one million people back into the workforce.

With the challenges we face as a country, this an opportunity we can’t afford to ignore.”

With increased home working following the pandemic likely to remain, the research expects that improved connectivity will help to reduce CO2 emissions from a reduction in commuter trips by an estimated 700,000 tonnes per year.

Remote working also enables people to move from inner cities to more rural areas. The model estimates that around 500,000 people could be supported to move—helping to stimulate regional and rural economic growth.

London

A nationwide full-fibre rollout could enable more than 35,000 Londoners to expand the hours they work, if they wish. Parents and the over-65s would benefit the most from improved connectivity at home and could contribute an extra £2.9 billion in gross value to the London economy.

Cebr estimates that a comprehensive full-fibre network in London could enable more than 115,000 new people to enter the region’s workforce.

Kieran Wines, Regional Partnership Director at Openreach, commented:

“This report illustrates just how game-changing the rollout of full-fibre broadband across London’s boroughs 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 London’s recovery.”

Openreach already employs more than 4,700 people who live/work in London.

South East

Full-fibre in the South East region could enable more than 132,000 new people to enter the workforce and support over 41,000 individuals in expanding the hours they work, if they wanted.

Parents, carers, and the over-65s could access employment and contribute £3.4 billion in gross value to the South East economy.

“Cebr’s previous research explained the economic windfall in store for the UK with a nationwide upgrade – including a £59 billion boost to productivity – £8.7 billion of this in the South East,” added Wines.

Openreach already employs more than 4,800 people who live/work in the South East.

South West

Full-fibre in the South West could enable more than 85,000 new people to enter the workforce and support over 26,000 individuals in expanding the hours they work, if they wanted.

Parents, carers, and the over-65s could access employment and contribute £2.1 billion in gross value to the South West economy.

Connie Dixon, Regional Partnership Director for the South West at Openreach, said:

“The Cebr findings show accelerating the build would pay huge dividends to the South West 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.”

Openreach already employs more than 3,400 people who live/work in the South West.

East Midlands

A comprehensive full-fibre rollout in the East Midlands could enable more than 24,000 people to expand the hours they work, if they wish. Parents, carers, and the over-65s could contribute an extra £1.8 billion in gross value to the region’s economy.

Cebr estimates that full-fibre in the East Midlands could enable more than 70,000 new people to enter the region’s workforce.

Full-fibre builds are underway in the city areas of Derby, Northampton and Nottingham, as well as harder to reach locations including Bourne and Sleaford in Lincolnshire, Daventry and Towcester in Northamptonshire and Swadlincote and Buxton in Derbyshire.

Openreach already employs more than 1,600 people who live/work in the East Midlands.

West Midlands

Full-fibre in the West Midlands could enable more than 85,000 new people to enter the workforce and support over 29,000 individuals in expanding the hours they work, if they wanted.

Parents, carers, and the over-65s could access employment and contribute £2.2 billion in gross value to the West Midlands economy.

Full-fibre builds are underway in the city areas of Birmingham and Coventry, as well as harder to reach places such as Cannock and Burton Upon Trent in Staffordshire, Hereford, Evesham and Malvern in Worcestershire, and Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire.

Openreach already employs more than 2,700 people who live/work in the West Midlands.

East of England

Full-fibre in the East of England could enable more than 91,000 new people to enter the workforce and support over 28,000 individuals in expanding the hours they work, if they wanted.

Parents, carers, and the over-65s could access employment and contribute £2.3 billion in gross value to the East of England economy.

Full-fibre builds are underway in Norwich and more hard-to-reach areas including Cranfield in Bedfordshire; Ely in Cambridgeshire; Caister-on-Sea, Kings Lynn and Hunstanton in Norfolk; and Bungay and Haverhill in Suffolk.

Openreach already employs more than 3,300 people who live/work in the East of England.

Wales

Full-fibre in Wales could enable more than 49,000 new people to enter the workforce and support over 18,000 individuals in expanding the hours they work, if they wanted.

Parents, carers, and the over-65s could access employment and contribute £1.3 billion in gross value to the Welsh economy.

Dixon comments:

“We look forward to working closely with the next Welsh government to remove red tape and deliver access to full-fibre to thousands more people – through our commercial programmes and in partnership – and supporting the economic recovery in Wales.”

More than 260,000 homes in Wales can already access full-fibre.

Yorkshire & Humber

Full-fibre in Yorkshire & Humber could enable more than 79,000 new people to enter the workforce and support over 27,000 individuals in expanding the hours they work, if they wanted.

Parents, carers, and the over-65s could access employment and contribute £2 billion in gross value to the region’s economy.

Openreach already employs more than 2,550 people who live/work in Yorkshire & Humber.

North West

Full-fibre in the North West could enable more than 107,000 new people to enter the workforce and support over 38,000 individuals in expanding the hours they work, if they wanted.

Parents, carers, and the over-65s could access employment and contribute £2.7 billion in gross value to the region’s economy.

Openreach already employs more than 3,700 people who live/work in the North West.

North East

Full-fibre in the North East could enable more than 40,000 new people to enter the workforce and support over 14,000 individuals in expanding the hours they work, if they wanted.

Parents, carers, and the over-65s could access employment and contribute £1 billion in gross value to the region’s economy.

Openreach already employs more than 1,100 people who live/work in the North West.

The report highlighted how a nationwide ultrafast full-fibre broadband network could boost UK productivity by up to £59 billion by 2025.

A full copy of the research can be found here.

(Image Credit: Openreach)

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