UK fibre broadband rollout has actually increased house prices

  • A new report from Ipsos MORI shows that government investment in internet infrastructure has significant economic benefits, including raising house values.

    Northern Ireland's excellent internet infrastructure has made it the ideal place for large tech firms setting up in the region and the local tech start-up scene. When the world suddenly switched to working from home, Openreach accelerated its rollout of full-fibre to give more people access to gigabit broadband.

    Many rural parts of the UK were still operating on regular slow broadband speeds until recently, when the UK invested £2.6bn in rollout of superfast broadband (minimum 30 megabit speeds), reaching 5.5 million homes and creating 17,600 new jobs. A new report has shown that the economic benefit of the rollout has actually been over £2.7bn, making it a positive investment.

    RELATED: Openreach welcomes 100th apprentice engineer in major expansion

    One interesting thing to come out of the report was that broadband speed increases have actually increased the average house price in affected areas by up to £3,500. The investment in internet infrastructure primarily affected areas where it was considered unprofitable to upgrade the local infrastructure, but the report shows that every £1 invested by the government led to another £2.70 to £3.80 entering the economy.

    Other benefits of the fibre rollout included significant reduction in unemployment as new network engineers had to be hired and trained, and an estimated £1.9 billion increase in total annual turnover for firms in upgraded areas. This comes as good news for the rest of the UK, as the government is currently preparing to launch a larger £5bn programme to roll out even faster gigabit fibre nation-wide.

    RELATED: Gigabit fibre coming to 94 rural towns in Northern Ireland - Check if your town is on the list

    UK Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden commented on the news: "Our mission to level up the country with faster broadband is delivering much more than just quicker downloads. It’s boosting the value of homes and businesses while helping to create thousands of jobs and keep the economy moving. 96% of us can now access superfast broadband, but 11 million homes are still missing out on faster speeds available in their area."


    About the author

    Brendan is a Sync NI writer with a special interest in the gaming sector, programming, emerging technology, and physics. To connect with Brendan, feel free to send him an email or follow him on Twitter.

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