BT’s investment in super-fast broadband in Scotland is expected to give the country a massive boost, creating thousands of new jobs and start-up businesses in the next 15 years, a new report reveals today.
The report, by Regeneris Consulting, predicts the high-speed technology is capable of contributing hundreds of millions pounds to the Scottish economy.
It will allow existing firms to operate more efficiently and to develop new products and services and make it easier for new businesses to get started through increasing use of innovations, such as cloud computing.
The report predicts that over the next 15 years BT’s super-fast broadband investment could give the economy of a typical UK town a £143 million* boost, create 225 new jobs and 140 new start-up businesses, whilst for a typical city the figures are expected to be £296 million, around 430 new jobs and 320 business start-ups.
There is also expected to be a big surge in flexible and home working. The report says that the high-speed technology could result in about 1,000 more homeworkers in a typical UK town and around 1,500 in a city.
BT’s £2.5 billion roll-out of super-fast broadband across the UK has already made the technology available to more than 270,000 Scottish homes and businesses – and this figure is expected to reach around 836,000 by the end of this year.
The Regeneris report also examines the wider impact of BT in Scotland through direct employment, expenditure with contractors and suppliers and the spending of its employees. It shows that BT last year gave the country a three-quarters of a billion pound boost and supported 12,500 Scottish jobs through spending with suppliers and the expenditure of its employees.
The overall beneficial financial impact of BT activities, including the roll-out of super-fast broadband, is expressed as a “Gross Value Added” (GVA)* contribution with last year’s BT GVA figure of £789 million representing 0.7 per cent of Scotland’s total.
Brendan Dick, director of BT Scotland, said: “This report demonstrates the great benefits that BT’s activities, including its major investment in super-fast broadband, are delivering for Scotland – and will continue to deliver in the years to come.
“BT is playing a vital role in the prosperity and well-being of the country from the massive economic boost provided by our activities, to the 9,500 hours of volunteering activity carried out by BT’s people right across Scotland.
“BT’s plans to roll-out next generation broadband across Scotland are already well under way. But we want to go further and would very much welcome the opportunity to have an even bigger impact on the regional economy by working with the public sector to make the high-speed technology available in more challenging areas.
“It is vital that we continue to grow and help our customers, stakeholders and employees to thrive as we work together to create a more prosperous Scotland.”
The ‘Social Study 2012 – The Economic Impact of BT in the United Kingdom’ report analyses the positive contributions made by BT through the salaries and wages of employees and contractors, and the beneficial impact of its procurement and overall expenditure around the UK.
The report highlights that BT in Scotland:
- is responsible for the employment of more than 7,500 people – 6,650 direct employees and 940 contractors – with a total income of £334 million;
- provides work for a further 4,880 people through the company’s expenditure with businesses supplying its equipment and services and the spending of its workers;
- spent £109 million with Scottish suppliers last year;
- committed around £2.4 million to community, charity and voluntary programmes in the Scotland in 2010/11;
- has enabled about 75 per cent of its employees to work flexibly, with more than 500 homeworkers – seven per cent of the workforce.
More than seven million households and businesses across the UK now have access to high speed fibre broadband. BT is expecting to reach ten million premises in 2012 and two-thirds of UK premises by the end of 2014. That involves BT laying more than 50,000km of fibre, enabling over 1,000 exchange areas and installing 30,000 street cabinets.
In UK terms, BT’s GVA contribution is assessed at more than £17 billion. It supports 274,000 jobs and last year spent £7.6 billion with UK-based suppliers.
BT also invested £684 million in R&D to support innovation in 2010/11, covering everything from scientific research to the development of new products and services working with customers, partners and universities around the world.
Stephen Nicol, managing director of Regeneris Consulting, said: “The interesting thing about BT is that it provides a genuinely national impact. It benefits every town or city across the UK. It is also one of the single most important businesses for the UK economy. As a result of its full economic impact, BT supports £1 in every £70 of wealth created in the UK, making it one of the single most important contributions to the UK economy by any firm.”
The full report is available at www.btsocialstudy.co.uk .
*Gross Value Added (GVA) measures the value of all goods and services produced in an economy. GVA combines wages and operating profits from companies and other organisations. Growing GVA can reflect improvements in workforce skills, productivity, R&D and innovation. The figures for BT show the value added directly through BT’s services and additional value generated through BT’s suppliers across the nations and regions.
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