The Economic Impact of Gigabit Connectivity

Ahead of the Gigabit Innovation Zone series at this year’s Broadband World Forum, independent ISP Exa Networks takes a look at how Gigabit Cities have benefitted from the introduction of ultrafast speeds. 

While gigabit speeds are definitely the future of internet connectivity, actual solid data on the economic benefits provided by gigabit lines is often hard to come by. Here we’re putting the data together, exploring how the world’s first Gigabit Cities have benefitted from world-class connectivity, before taking a look at the UK cities where we’re rolling out our DarkLight future-proof Internet. 

Chattanooga, one of the first cities where gigabit connectivity became widely available to businesses and the public, is a great example for the economic benefits that gigabit speed brings in.

Since bringing in gigabit connectivity in 2009, Chattanooga’s economic outlook has improved in a genuinely astonishing range of ways – a significant decrease in unemployment, one of the largest wage growths in the US, and more. 

Gigabit connections have also proved a huge plus for startups. Before introducing gigabit services, Chattanooga had practically zero venture capital investment – as of 2014, the city boasted an incredible $50 Million in investments. 

While Chattanooga is definitely a particularly clear success case for the implementation of gigabit connectivity, the city is by no means an exception – many other areas have seen similarly positive economic effects. As an example, the city of Lafayette, Louisiana became ‘a sought-after location for the entertainment industry’ upon introducing gigabit, with its mayor urging other cities to adopt gigabit speeds. 

Reviewing the economic impact of gigabit connectivity, the FTTH Council determined that ‘communities with widely available gigabit access have per capita GDP that is 1.1 percent higher [than those without gigabit]” – accounting for a full $1.4 Billion in the US.

DarkLight and Gigabit Cities in the UK

Across the UK, there’s a large, and ever-increasing, number of Gigabit Cities – Peterborough was the first to introduce the technology, with CityFibre finishing installation just last year. Over the last few months, we’ve been working with CityFibre to bring gigabit connectivity to cities around the UK, transforming a number of regions into DarkLight Gigabit Cities.

We’ve mainly been working across Yorkshire, from our initial projects in Bradford and Leeds to upcoming launches in Sheffield, Doncaster and Rotherham. While the cities we’ve discussed tend to focus on individual customers, we’re exclusively providing our services to businesses and schools, ensuring that we can provide the best possible performance for our customers.

Gigabit may be a bit of a misnomer for our services – we’re offering future proof internet, installing one line which can accommodate for practically any speed, including a 10 gigabits per second option, with the range set to increase over time. 

While the UK’s Gigabit Cities haven’t been around for long enough to carry out the full-on economic studies the US has seen, there’s no doubt that businesses and schools are benefitting from the introduction of gigabit speeds.

An early article on Peterborough’s network quoted a number of local businesses: gigabit helped make ‘communication between offices and partners a lot smoother’ for digital agency i3MEDIA, brought ‘peace of mind’ to Ferguson Financial Solicitors, and far more.

With our first gigabit connections starting to go live, we’re looking forward to providing businesses across the UK’s Gigabit Cities with the competitive advantage that world-class speeds clearly provide.

Broadband World Forum will take place at ExCel London on 18-20 October, 2016. Click here for more information and to register to attend.


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