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New report says community fibre broadband schemes boosts the economy
Faster broadband boosts house prices and business success as well as providing a range of social benefits for rural communities

RegenrisAn independent study, by Regeneris Consulting, highlights the huge business, residential and social benefits provided by Community Fibre Partnerships (CFP), which are calculated to be worth, on average, £800,000 to each community.

Across the UK more than 500 communities have already signed up to the CFP programme.The CFP programme enables communities wanting faster speeds, but not included in any fibre broadband roll-out plans, to jointly fund an upgrade to fibre alongside Openreach, the business responsible for Britain’s largest phone and broadband network.

The report ‘The Impact of High-Speed Broadband for Communities’ examines the economic impact of Community Fibre Partnerships on businesses and households over 15 years and the social benefits over seven and a half years.

It states that businesses will see improvements in productivity, efficiency, flexible working, innovation and finding new markets and customers. The boost to the value of a residential property when fibre broadband is provided is highlighted. For the UK as a whole, it is estimated to account for £100 million of the £340 million economic boost expected to be generated by Community Fibre Partnerships nationwide.

Positive social benefits as a result of the CFP programme include better access to employment opportunities and on-line healthcare. More information on community fibre partnerships with Openreach is available at www.communityfibre.openreach.co.uk

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.”

The full report is available at www.communityfibre.openreach.co.uk/resources/