Economic impacts include £441m in productivity benefits, £97m from a widened workforce, and £30m in local authority savings.
A new report commissioned by CityFibre, the UK’s largest independent full fibre platform, has found that Sunderland will reap major benefits from the rollout of future-proof full fibre infrastructure which is now well underway across the city.
The study by the consultancy Hatch, (Economic Impact of Full Fibre Infrastructure from CityFibre’s Network), estimates that, over a fifteen-year period, the positive impacts of CityFibre’s £62m investment in Sunderland will include £441m in productivity and innovation gains, £97m from a widened workforce, £30m in Local Authority efficiency savings and £226 in increased housing value.
Technological benefits are also a major focus of the report, which demonstrates that CityFibre’s network in Sunderland will help unlock £1bn in Gross Value Added from 5G services, £395m from the Internet of Things and £186m 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 Sunderland, flexible working productivity uplifts are estimated to exceed £25m.
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.
Jason Legget, Area Manager for Sunderland at CityFibre, said: “The benefits of upgrading Sunderland’s digital infrastructure are huge, and this report shows how much of a catalyst our build is going to be for growth across the city. We look forward to seeing the opportunities which our £62m investment into the city’s brand-new network will create for both businesses and the residents of Sunderland.”
Liz St Louis, director of smart cities at Sunderland City Council, added: “As we start to see what the investment into our smart city means for people and places, it is great to realise the potential for both economic and socio-economic growth across the city.
“As well as updating perceptions externally from business investors and visitors, the change across Sunderland is palpable as new opportunities and digital transformation continue to boost confidence within the city amongst our residents and businesses.”
Residents interested in giving their home broadband a boost can find out more about the build and check whether services are live by visiting here: https://cityfibre.com/homes