SME broadband economic impact survey programme

Adroit Economics and partners have developed an online SME broadband economic impact survey programme designed for cities and regions to survey their business communities to identify the functional, financial and economic benefits of broadband (and of migrating to faster broadband). 

The survey programme is designed to build up a robust body of data on the impacts of broadband for small firms across Europe, in both urban and rural locations.  The first regions to take part are London (via the Greater London Authority), Manchester (via the Chamber of Commerce) and Cyprus (via the Cypriot Government).  Just over 600 responses have been received so far.  The results can be used by local and regional authorities to calculate the economic impact of recent broadband projects in their area (urban and rural projects), and to make business cases and grant funding applications for new broadband projects. The aggregated results will be used for academic, policy and commercial purposes.

 

The survey questionnaire has been carefully developed by Adroit Economics, Point Topic, and the Fifth Sector with advice from the University of Manchester. 

 

The survey results can provide definitive evidence of the economic impact of broadband connectivity in the region

Surveys undertaken so far include:  London (via the Greater London Authority); Manchester (via Manchester Chamber of Commerce) and Cyprus (Via the Cypriot Government).  

The first survey to be analysed is that for Greater London:

  • 480 firms responded to survey.  A link to the survey was sent out by the Greater London Authority (GLA) to a proportion of the 12,000 London SMEs that took up the super-fast broadband connection voucher scheme. (This was a national scheme available in 22 cities initially, which ran over a two-year period offering vouchers to SMEs to pay for a proportion of connection charges for faster broadband)

  • Adroit has just completed analysis of the survey results (July 2016) and, based on analysis of the results, has undertaken an economic evaluation of the London element of the voucher scheme for GLA.

 

An average speed increase of 5 times was achieved.  The survey results, scaled up to the total number of SMEs that took up a voucher suggest that London's voucher firms will:

  • Generate £2bn additional sales within the first two years

  • Will create 32,000 new jobs and

  • Will achieve just under £1bn cost savings.

The combined sales increases and cost savings represent £1.7bn GVA, just over a 20% (a one fifth) increase in GVA of London’s voucher firms (GVA=gross value added, the Government's preferred measure of economic wealth creation).

 

The net benefits of this to the Greater London economy are estimated to be an additional £430m additional GVA and an additional 8,118 jobs.

These economic benefits derive from the fact that faster broadband enables firms to save costs on purchases, increase staff productivity and increase sales:

  • Average cost savings of 4.8% are expected to be gained

  • Average sales (turnover) increases of 10.5% will be enabled

  • Staff time savings of 6.1% should be achieved

  • Home working and mobile working productivity benefits of 11.1% are expected.

A copy of the executive summary and/or the full report is available via Point Topic - http://point-topic.com/faster-broadband-brings-3-billion-boost-london-smes/ 

We would like to encourage as many cities and regions as possible to undertake the survey.  To take part in the survey... all that is required is that the city or regional authority sends a link to the survey (which is in English) to SMEs in your city or region, explaining what the survey is for.  When enough SMEs have responded, we will run an analysis of the results and calculate the economic impacts of broadband for your city or region.  More detailed analysis, such as an appraisal or evaluation of a particular broadband programme or initiative is also possible.  The surfey results enable accurate modelling of impacts of proposed/current programmes.  If you are interested and would like to discuss this further, contact Adroit Economics (info@adroit-economics.co.uk) or Point Topic (http://point-topic.com).

Responses by individual SMEs will remain confidential and are not released to protect their identity and privacy (except for those SMEs that agree they would like to be considered as case studies).  The results from all the surveys are being aggregated into a single database to enable robust analysis of the true economic impact of faster broadband across Europe and the factors that underpin this. The aggregated results will be used for a combination of academic, policy and commercial purposes.