TheUK Department for Culture, Media & Sport released today a report on the benefits of superfast broadband in the UK. In this blog, Jonathan Liebenau from LSE Tech offers initial thoughts on the study’s general scope, its usefulness and limitations and raises questions for further analysis.
The Department of Culture, Media and Sport published today a study by SQW consulting of the impact of increases since 2008 of fixed broadband attributable to the current set of publicly funded interventions to improve quality and coverage. Using data from a variety of sources relating to both the broad economic context of internet use and specific characteristics such as supposed productivity effects and multiplier assumptions, it provides an optimistic view of the UK up to 2024.
The report’s claims of beneficial effects on the environment, society and the economy are predicated on careful trends analysis and numerous well-informed assumptions. There are numerous limitations to the study, which I will comment on in a future blog. Some of these stem from the self-imposed constraints of the investigations such as the focus on the expenditure of public funds, the exclusion of expensive business connectivity services, and significantly, taking no consideration at all of mobile services. Some limitations are inherent in the methodology and some from the perception of technological impacts generally, such as the effect on reduced travel and the advantages accrued from utilizing cloud computing.