A new study has revealed the comprehensive rollout of full fibre broadband across Scotland could be a ‘game-changer’ for the Scottish economy and create 76,000 jobs.

It also shows that a nationwide full fibre network would allow 24,000 people to voluntarily work longer hours.

Additionally, better broadband would help carers, parents and people aged over 65 to enter the workforce – adding almost £2bn in gross value to the Scottish economy.

The findings, published by the Centre of Economics and Business Research (Cebr), have been welcomed by connectivity giant Openreach Scotland, which commissioned the study.

Katie Milligan, the new chair of Openreach Scotland, said: “This report illustrates just how game-changing the rollout of full fibre broadband across Scotland’s rural and remote communities 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 Scotland’s recovery. The Cebr findings show accelerating the build would pay huge dividends to Scotland’s 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.

“We look forward to working closely with the next Scottish government to remove red tape and deliver access to full fibre to thousands more people – through our commercial programmes and in partnership – and supporting Scotland’s economic recovery. Openreach is investing hundreds of millions on full fibre rollout to 90 Scottish towns and cities, including 60 locations in the hard-to-reach ‘final third’ of the country. More than 600,000 Scottish homes and business can already access full fibre and other ultrafast technology through the network of service providers who use the Openreach network.

“At a UK level, the report finds that the nationwide rollout of full fibre broadband could bring up to a million people back into the workforce; save 700,000 tonnes of CO2 emitted from car commuting trips; and support 500,000 people to move from urban to more rural areas across the UK, helping stimulate economic growth.”

The full report can be accessed here. 

What is full fibre?

Full fibre, also known as ‘fibre to the premises’ (FTTP), is broadband with a ‘dedicated connection’ that runs straight into a home or business. It uses the latest fibre-optic technology to offer gigafast download speeds up to 900Mbps and ultrafast upload speeds.

Watch the video below to learn more about different connection types.

Openreach is a leading digital network business in the UK and an independently governed division of the BT Group. They are currently working towards their FTTP target to reach 20m premises by mid-to-late 2020s.

For more information, visit www.openreach.co.uk.