A new report commissioned by CityFibre has identified that Reading 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 £58m investment in Reading will include £625m in productivity and innovation gains, £138m from a widened workforce, £18m in local authority efficiency savings and £384m in increased housing value.
Technological benefits are also a major focus of the report, which demonstrates that CityFibre’s network in Reading will help realise £1bn gross added value (GVA) from 5G services, £249m from the Internet of Things and £263m 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 Reading, working productivity uplifts are estimated to exceed £35m.
The direct impact of network construction is also identified as a major contributor to Reading’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.
As a whole, 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.
Stacey King, Area Manager for Reading at CityFibre, says: “This report demonstrates just how powerful and essential full fibre is as a catalyst for growth and as a platform for innovation and investment.
“Reading is quickly becoming one of the best digitally connected towns in the UK, and the opportunity for residents and local businesses is huge. We thank residents for their patience as we progress with the full fibre infrastructure build here in a bid to offer more people access to some of the best broadband packages available.”