Upgrading connectivity could boost Scottish economy by £5.3 billion
The figures were revealed in the Digital Connectivity Index from Virgin Media O2 and economic modelling expert Oxford Analytica. The research found that investment could make for a major economic boost to regions across Scotland.
By area, the Glasgow City Region would benefit by £1.24 billion, Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region £1.08 billion, Tay Cities Region £463 million, Aberdeen City Region £440 million, Ayrshires £182 million, and South of Scotland £161 million – unlocking over 41,000 jobs altogether.
The index uses thousands of OECD datapoints to calculate how people and organisations can connect with each other and the rest of the world through high-quality internet access. The findings discovered that the UK is currently ranked joint eighth out of 24 countries that have complete digital connectivity datasets, such as Germany, Portugal, and Ireland.
Furthermore, the study suggested that if the UK were to become the OECD leader, it could lead to consistently higher gross domestic product (GDP) growth rates (0.88%) every year, making for an extra £69.78 billion and 510,000 jobs between now and 2026.
Lutz Schüler, chief executive officer of Virgin Media O2, said: “The importance of digital connectivity to Scotland’s future couldn’t be clearer, and the role we play as an industry more profound.
“With economic growth, new jobs and a fairer society at stake, we’re already taking a lead with a commitment to invest £10bn over the next five years.
“We’re turning up the dial on the national recovery and helping the country to climb up the international connectivity league tables to create a brighter, more prosperous future for every corner of the UK.”
Scott Urban, senior advisor at Oxford Analytica, said: “The Digital Connectivity Index shows telecom’s key contribution to levelling-up through spurring higher growth and creating new jobs.”
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