A new report by research firm Assembly, commissioned by Huawei, warns the UK government that any tardiness on delivering gigabit-capable broadband to the entire UK by 2025 (the ambitious "Gigabit Britain" target) will result in significant economic loss.
According to its calculations, a 12-month delay in achieving the 2025 target could mean the UK misses out on £9.7 billion (US$12 billion) in lost productivity benefits. A two-year lag? That might see as much as £28.7 billion ($35.7 billion) go up in smoke.
Get Gigabit Britain right, though, and there's the promise of considerable financial upside.
Assembly reckons that extending gigabit-capable broadband throughout the UK by 2025 could provide £51.4 billion ($63.7 billion) in gross value-add to the economy in five years' time. By 2030 this number may reach £68.8 billion ($85.5 billion).
While the UK is a "world leader" in superfast broadband, with more than 95% of premises covered, Assembly somewhat diplomatically flagged full fiber as an area in which the UK "lags behind."
UK broadband lobby groups might call it plain embarrassing. Figures released last week by FTTH Council Europe, compiled by market research firm IDATE, saw the UK languishing third from bottom in a ranking of European countries by FTTH/B penetration. It chalked a measly 2.8% as of September 2019. Only Serbia and Austria fared worse. Spain, Sweden, Latvia, Belarus and Iceland are miles ahead with FTTH/B penetration rates in excess of 50%.
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