A new report commissioned by CityFibre, the UK’s largest independent full fibre platform, has identified that Maidenhead stands to be a huge beneficiary from the rollout of future-proof full fibre infrastructure which is now well underway across the town.
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 £14m investment in Maidenhead will include £146m in productivity and innovation gains, £32m from a widened workforce, £3m in Local Authority efficiency savings and £103m in increased housing value.
Technological benefits are also a major focus of the report, which demonstrates that CityFibre’s network in Maidenhead will help unlock £349m in gross added value (GVA) from 5G services, £55m from the Internet of Things and £62m 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 Maidenhead working productivity uplifts are estimated to exceed £8m.
The direct impact of network construction is also identified as a major contributor to Maidenhead’s economic growth, creating network construction jobs within CityFibre’s build partners and supply chain. Wherever possible, the new jobs will be recruited locally to support the rollout.
The UK, as a whole, 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.
Neil Madle, Area Manager for Maidenhead at CityFibre, said: “Full fibre has the potential to truly transform the digital capabilities of Maidenhead. We’re extremely proud of our rollout, the £14m investment we are making here, and we look forward to seeing how it will benefit residents and businesses in the coming years.”
Councillor Ross McWilliams, Cabinet member for Digital Connectivity, Housing Opportunity, & Sport & Leisure, said: “As part of our overarching vision of creating a sustainable borough of innovation and opportunity, one of our top priorities is quality infrastructure that connects neighbourhoods and businesses and allows them to prosper, including first rate digital connectivity.
“As a vital utility that we depend on every day, it’s no surprise that digital infrastructure can be a significant enabler of growth, and digital connectivity is a key driver of future choices by businesses and residents. CityFibre’s welcome investment will deliver wide-ranging benefits for residents and businesses for the long-term. We are delighted that companies are investing in this key infrastructure that will strengthen Maidenhead’s standing in the digital world both now and in the decades to come.”
The network is now live in Maidenhead, with services currently available from TalkTalk with more broadband providers expended to join the network soon. Across the UK, CityFibre is already working with launch partner, Vodafone, to deliver next generation broadband services, as well as TalkTalk, Giganet, Zen and IDNet, with more expected to join the network soon.