Super-fast broadband in London could give city a £20 billion boost
The roll-out of super-fast broadband has the potential to create 26,000 new jobs in the capital, generate £7.3 billion in improved business performance and a further £11 billion from business creation, and home working contributing a billion to reach the headline figure.
The transport infrastructure of London is likely to welcome the estimate that home working may grow by some 73,000 workers in the next 15 years. BT itself in London has some 1,060 homeworkers, which accounts for around 8% of its work force, with 75% of employees benefiting from one form or another of flexible working.
By the end of 2012, super-fast broadband is set to pass some 2.5 million properties in the capital. It is this near universal availability of broadband to a standard that will allow startups to operate as well from a back bedroom as a startup office like Silicon Roundabout that is most likely to generate the UK's own Google. The rise of Silicon Roundabout as an ideas hub is worthy, but without affordable fast connectivity to let a startup manage new services that are running in the cloud or data centre the ideas will not go very far.
The UK is much more than London, and while the capital has always had a draw from the days before Dick Whittington with streets paved with gold, if your business is the digital economy then any location in the UK with a good broadband service at the right price should be able to host a start-up or even large established business.
The clear message for any business park landlord is to ensure that decent broadband is available to businesses, all too often money is spent on landscaping and marketing for firms to then later complain about the costs of getting decent broadband to their building.