Cebr report shows Full Fibre broadband build could be a “gamechanger” for the London economy

New study reveals comprehensive rollout could support more than 115,000 new workers in London

Today, Openreach’s Regional Partnership Director for London, Kieran Wines welcomed the findings of a report conducted by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) which shows that a comprehensive Full Fibre network in the London could enable more than 115,000 new people to enter the region’s workforce.

The report, commissioned by Openreach, also reveals that a nationwide rollout would also allow more than 35,000 people in the London area to expand the hours they are able to work if they wanted. And helping carers, parents and over-65s to access employment could contribute £2.9 billon in gross value added to the London economy.

Kieran Wines commented: “This report illustrates just how game-changing the roll out of Full Fibre broadband across London’s boroughs could be.

“The pandemic has reinforced public recognition of the importance of high-quality broadband and we’re clear that fibre has a significant part to play in London’s recovery.

“The Cebr findings show accelerating the build would pay huge dividends to the London economy as a whole and be instrumental in bringing people back into the workforce who haven’t previously had the ability to navigate other commitments or find opportunities in their local area.

Cebr’s previous research explained the economic windfall in store for the UK with a nationwide upgrade – including a £59 billion boost to productivity - £13.8 billion of this in London. And this updated report highlights how Full Fibre can help to level up the UK, bringing up to more than 115,000 people back into the workforce in London. With the challenges the UK currently faces, this an opportunity we can’t afford to ignore.”

Openreach is investing millions of pounds on a Full Fibre rollout to 17 London boroughs covering tens of thousands of homes and businesses. In December last year, Openreach announced it was creating 2,500 new roles and an estimated 2,800 roles with partners to support the UK-wide Full Fibre build, including 247 new roles in London. Openreach already employs more than 34,500 people, including more than 25,000 engineers who build, maintain and connect customers to its nationwide broadband network. Of these, more than 4,700 live and/or work in London.

This short video explains what Full Fibre technology is and you can find out more about our Fibre First programme here.

The full report is available here.

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Employment and GVA impacts by region, plus the projected number of working-age carers, parents and the over-65s increasing their hours, are given in the above table. GVA per hour is based on ONS figures extrapolated according to Cebr productivity growth forecasts. All impacts are based on ONS population forecasts for 2025. These estimates assume there are no geographical limitations to take-up of flexible and remote working opportunities.