Published: Monday, 13th February 2023

A report commissioned by CityFibre has identified that Medway stands to be a huge beneficiary from the rollout of future-proof full fibre infrastructure which is now well underway across the area.

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 £40m investment in Medway will include £521millon in productivity and innovation gains, £115million from a widened workforce, £13million in Local Authority efficiency savings and £459million in increased housing value.

Technological benefits are also a major focus of the report, which demonstrates that CityFibre’s network in Medway will help unlock £1bn in gross value added (GVA) from 5G services, £420million from the Internet of Things and £220million 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 Medway, flexible working productivity uplifts are estimated to exceed £30million.

The direct impact of network construction is also identified as a major contributor of Medway’s economic growth, creating more than 150 jobs within CityFibre’s build partners and supply chain. The new jobs will also generate an estimated £20million in incremental GVA and most will be recruited locally to support the rollout.

The UK, as a whole, stands to benefit from over £38billion in potential economic benefits. Productivity improvements and innovation are responsible for the largest impact, driving more than £22billion 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.

Cannot wait for local communities to reap the benefits 

Anne Krausse, Area Manager for Medway at CityFibre, said: “These figures demonstrate just how impactful full fibre is for Medway. Our network will ensure the area is ready to thrive in the digital age and provide a platform for innovation and investment. We cannot wait for the local communities to reap the many benefits of our £40million digital transformation project.”

Helping businesses thrive and benefitting residents 

Cllr Alan Jarrett, Leader of Medway Council, said: “We’re delighted to learn of the benefits that CityFibre’s investment is bringing to Chatham and Gillingham as a result of its full fibre network rollout. Digital connectivity is very important and will allow local businesses to boost productivity with buffer-free calls and fast download speeds, which will support economic growth, help businesses thrive and provide huge benefits to residents in terms of their connectivity.”

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