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Cebr report shows full fibre broadband build could be a “gamechanger” for the Scottish economy

Posted: 30th April 2021

New study reveals comprehensive rollout could support 76,000 new workers

The new Chair of Openreach Scotland, Katie Milligan, today welcomed the findings of a report conducted by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) which shows that a comprehensive full fibre network in Scotland could enable 76,000 people to enter the Scottish workforce.

The report, commissioned by Openreach, also reveals that a nationwide rollout would also allow 24,000 people to expand the hours they are able to work if they wanted. And helping carers, parents and over-65s to access employment could contribute almost £2bn in gross value added to the Scottish economy.

Katie Milligan commented: “This report illustrates just how game-changing the roll out of full fibre broadband across Scotland’s rural and remote communities could be.

“The pandemic has reinforced public recognition of the importance of high-quality broadband and we’re clear that fibre has a significant part to play in Scotland’s recovery.

“The Cebr findings show accelerating the build would pay huge dividends to Scotland’s economy as a whole and be instrumental in bringing people back into the workforce who haven’t previously had the ability to navigate other commitments or find opportunities in their local area.

“We look forward to working closely with the next Scottish government to remove red tape and deliver access to full fibre to thousands more people – through our commercial programmes and in partnership – and supporting Scotland’s economic recovery.”

Openreach is investing £ hundreds of millions on full fibre rollout to 90 Scottish towns and cities, including 60 locations in the hard-to-reach ‘final third’ of the country. More than 600,000 Scottish homes and business can already access full fibre and other ultrafast technology through the network of service providers who use the Openreach network.

At a UK level, the report finds that the nationwide rollout of Full Fibre broadband could bring up to a million people back into the workforce; save 700,000 tonnes of CO2 emitted from car commuting trips; and support 500,000 people to move from urban to more rural areas across the UK, helping stimulate economic growth.

Business Comment

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