‘Gigabit Britain’ report draws sharp warning for Australia

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A new report ‘Delivering Gigabit Britain’ from independent UK consultancy Assembly Research has delivered a sharp warning of the economic consequences for Australia if we fail to deliver nationwide Gigabit broadband speeds.

The report – commissioned by Huawei but supported by major UK broadband operators Openreach, Virgin Media, Three UK and City Fibre – fully supports the UK’s goal of delivering universal Gigabit speeds by 2025 but warns the country will lose nearly £10 billion (A$19 billion) in lost productivity benefits if it fails to meet its goal of universal Gigabit availability by even just one year.

“A 12 month delay to achieving full coverage of gigabit-capable broadband would mean the UK misses out on £9.7bn of productivity benefits….a two year delay to achieving full coverage of gigabit-capable broadband would mean the UK misses out on £28.7bn of productivity benefits,” Assembly Research Principal Analyst Matthew Howlett says in the report.

“In any normal time, this would be significant, however with a degree of social distancing likely to continue and the need for a strong economic bounce-back, the importance of rolling out Gigabit connectivity and realizing these benefits for the economy cannot be understated.”

The UK is focused on delivering Gigabit speeds to 100% of UK homes via Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP), Cable and Fixed-Wireless 5G via 2025 with full nationwide deployment of FTTP planned by around 2030.

By contrast only 16% of premises on the $51 billion NBN can currently receive Gigabit speeds with only the two million end-user premises on NBN Co’s FTTP network able to access Gigabit speeds.

NBN’s other Fixed-line technologies currently delivering top speeds of just 100Mbps – with no plan on the table to further upgrade the network.

Jeremy Mitchell, Director of Public and Corporate Affairs at Huawei Australia, said:

“The Delivering Gigabit Britain report is another reminder of what Australia is missing out on by not having access to universal Gigabit broadband – especially at a time when that access is more important than ever for all Australians – the productivity benefits are profound.

“New Zealand is well on the way to affordable access to Gigabit broadband and the UK is also taking that pathway – but less than one in five Aussie homes have access to those speeds and even where they are available they are typically horrendously expensive at more than $300 per month.

“From an Australian perspective Huawei no longer has a dog in this fight in terms of the network business so we can provide an unbiased view and the Delivering Gigabit Britain report just provides another example of why we need to ensure all Australian’s get access to the Gigabit economy, no one should be left behind.”

A full copy of the ‘Delivering Gigabit Britain’ report can be downloaded here:

https://www-file.huawei.com/-/media/corporate/local-site/uk/pdf/gigabit-britain.pdf

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