Coventry?s full fibre transformation to deliver multimillion pound economic growth Posted by Damien Biddulph on Mon 18th Jun 2018
Study indicates huge economic potential unlocked by gigabit-speed full fibre broadband roll-out in Coventry.
Coventry could be in for a multi-million pound windfall according to a new report, which has calculated the potential economic impact that could be unlocked following the roll-out of a new full fibre network by CityFibre, as part of its strategic national partnership with Vodafone.
The study by economic consultancy Regeneris examined how the economy is likely to benefit from full fibre connectivity, quantifying the impact to the city over a 15-year period.
According to researchers, Coventry’s homeowners and wider property market can expect to reap huge rewards. Up to £101m could be added to the value of local homes, as access to reliable, high speed broadband becomes ever more critical to buyers.
Smart City initiatives including home automation technologies, smart energy networks and intelligent transportation systems, could add as much as £77m locally too; while digital enhancements in the delivery of healthcare services could be worth £19m. Coventry is already ahead of the game, having become one of the first cities in the UK to connect the majority of its GP practices to a Gigabit City network, offering worldclass connectivity to staff and patients.
The city’s business community stands to benefit enormously as well. Access to gigabit-speed full fibre connectivity could unlock £57m in business productivity and innovation, with companies able to develop and promote new, richer products and services online and benefit from greater exposure to the international marketplace. Many of Coventry’s businesses in areas including Coventry city centre, Fargo Village and Binley Business Park are already able to take up full fibre services, giving them an unprecedented head start.
A further £29m in growth could be driven from new business start-ups, with enhanced connectivity making it easier and less expensive to set up base and run efficiently. The increased ability for companies to support flexible working could also add a further £26m. This will not only help to reduce barriers to work, but improve employees’ work-life balance, which in turn improves motivation and retention.
Crucially the network roll-out itself is expected to drive £36m in direct economic growth, employing an average of 150 people in the construction and civil engineering sectors throughout the duration of the project.
Speaking of the report, Simon Hooton, Director at Regeneris, said: “Our findings clearly indicate that full fibre will provide the core infrastructure required to kick start the next-generation of digital technology and drive expansion of smart infrastructure in towns and cities where it is deployed. The result will be a modernised, more productive and innovative UK economy.”
Coventry is already ahead of the game following its announcement as one of the first locations to benefit from CityFibre and Vodafone’s strategic partnership which will bring ultrafast Gigabit-capable full fibre broadband to up to a million UK homes and businesses by 2021.
Greg Mesch, CEO at CityFibre, explained: “With a new full fibre network being built beneath its streets, Coventry is a forerunner of digital transformation in the UK. This report demonstrates that the city is set to enjoy huge economic benefits as a result of this roll-out. This is about more than just broadband, it is about the digital infrastructure set to power our economy for decades to come.”
Louise Bennett, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “We welcome the investment in connectivity in Coventry. Improved digital infrastructure is something that can help to unlock economic growth in the region and this will have a major impact on that.”
To find out more about CityFibre visit: www.cityfibre.com