Broadband and Regional Economic Growth
Governments, regional and local authorities continue to focus policy on addressing both rural and urban broadband gaps
Businesses and households have increasingly come to rely on broadband. Recent studies explore the benefits and estimate the contribution of broadband and internet access to the economy.
Availability of broadband services have increasingly become one of the conditions for a competitive and growing economy. Conversely, those regions, those areas that do not yet offer decent broadband services to businesses and households are becoming increasingly disadvantaged.
Hence, EU, national and regional economic policy now recognises the provision of good broadband services as essential. Reflecting this, coverage and bandwidth targets have been set for 2020 and longer term for 2030, by the EC, for all countries/ regions. These targets have been adopted by EU28 countries, in large part.
The telecoms market is investing in much of the addiotnal infrastructure needed to deliver this, but there are gaps, particularly in the more remote, sparsely populated areas across Europe where it’s more difficult to make a commercial business case for investment. In response, EC and national/regional Governmente funds have been made available to ‘gap fund’ deployment and to ‘stimulate demand’. Each country/ region is responsible for precisely how these funds are administered but across Europe, a plethora of programmes are accelerating and extending commercial rollout of broadband infrastructure.
Gaps still remain however. Even these programmes will not reach the most remote, most sparsely populated areas. There are also gaps in pockets in urban areas, including in major cities. Moreover, as the demand for faster and faster broadband increases, existing networks everywhere need upgrading or replacing. This is a priority for economic competitiveness and growth.
Adroit experts have been working in the broadband policy field for 20 years. Adroit has developed a number of models and tools to help local and regional authorities develop policy and programmes to address broadband gaps, including provision of faster broadband.
Evidence is growing that availability of faster broadband in a region underpins economic growth