Openreach community fibre programme brings £340m worth of benefits
Monday 12th March, 2018
A new report says Openreach’s Community Fibre Partnerships (CFP) programme will lead to substantial business, social and economic benefits.
The independent report, by Regeneris Consulting, estimates the scheme will generate around £340 million in benefits over 15 years – an average of £800,000 per community.
The report finds the business impact alone will be £158m, with broadband helping to improve efficiency and raise productivity; open access to new markets; drive new business growth and innovation; and deliver flexible working benefits.
Fibre broadband also promises to increase the value of each house in CFPs by an average of £1,700. This will help create a total of about £100m in economic benefits for residents.
The report measured the impact of CFPs on 60,000 premises in just over 400 communities. Since it was compiled, around 100 more communities have joined the scheme to get superfast, or ultrafast broadband.
Matt Lloyd, who heads up the programme for Openreach, says: “The tremendous power of fibre broadband is made very clear in this report. It’s heartening to see the many benefits that these partnerships are giving to communities in so many different ways.
“Tens of thousands of people have already benefited from faster broadband as a result of community fibre partnerships, and we’re working with hundreds more to get them connected to superfast or ultrafast broadband."
And Regeneris estimates social, educational and health benefits will total around £80 million, as residents gain access to online tools for things such as e-health and learning.
Simon Hooton, Director at Regeneris Consulting, said:
“Despite delivery challenges in more rural areas, high speed broadband is vital to the prospects of communities across the UK. This report shows the breadth and scale of benefits generated when you bring high speed connectivity into those communities for the first time.
The evidence from the latest research, and from residents and businesses themselves, is that broadband opens up new opportunities which enhance people’s lives and can have a positive impact on their health and the environment around them