A new report commissioned by CityFibre has identified that Bolton stands to be a huge beneficiary from the rollout of future-proof full fibre infrastructure, which is now well underway across the town.
The study by the consultancy Hatch, (Economic Impact of Full Fibre Infrastructure from CityFibre’s Network), estimates that, over a 15-year period, the positive impacts of CityFibre’s £37m investment in Bolton will include £192m in productivity and innovation gains, £42m from a widened workforce, £17m in Local Authority efficiency savings and £128m in increased housing value.
Technological benefits are also a major focus of the report, which demonstrates that CityFibre’s network in Bolton will help unlock £456m in GVA from 5G services, £218m from the Internet of Things and £81m from Smart City initiatives, like intelligent traffic management systems and street lighting.
The continuing transition to home and flexible working, supported by full fibre access at home and in the office, is also unlocking access to a larger pool of labour for employers. In Bolton this widening of the workforce is expected to unleash £42m in GVA while flexible working productivity uplifts are estimated to exceed £1.2bn nationwide.
The direct impact of network construction is also identified as a major contributor of Bolton’s economic growth, creating network construction jobs within CityFibre’s build partners and supply chain. Wherever possible, the new jobs will be recruited locally to support the rollout.
The UK stands to benefit from over £38bn in potential economic benefits. Productivity improvements and innovation are responsible for the largest impact, driving more than £22bn in GVA gains nationwide. This is due to the positive effect that far faster and more reliable digital connectivity has been shown to have on business productivity and innovation, increasing turnover and contributing to the formation of new businesses and business models.
Steve Thorpe, Area Manager for Bolton at CityFibre, says: “This report demonstrates just how powerful and essential full fibre is as a catalyst for growth and a platform for innovation and investment. We’re extremely proud of our rollout in Bolton, the £37m investment we are making here, and we look forward to seeing how it will benefit residents and businesses over the decades to come.”
Martyn Cox, Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council Leader, comments: “When we first outlined Bolton’s regeneration plan in 2020, we knew that its successful delivery depended on the town being a digital hub for businesses and people to thrive.
“Since then, seeing the progress made by CityFibre in Bolton gives us such optimism for the future. The town is now more connected than ever before and the report reveals the true extent of the potential benefits of reliable and powerful connectivity in Bolton, which will support our growth for years to come. We are delighted to continue offering our support to CityFibre and have great optimism about what is in store for our collective futures.”