Investment in digital infrastructure is delivering transformative benefits to European consumers and businesses. It allows for rapid, efficient and affordable access to information. The European Commission estimates that reaching the EU connectivity objectives is estimated to require €500 billion investment over the coming decade. This money will largely have to come from private sources.
An analysis by economists at Oxera Consulting studied the economic impact of Liberty Global’s investment in broadband infrastructure between the start of 2013 and the end of the first quarter of 2017. It concluded that the higher broadband speed, improved productivity and price competition generated social benefits worth €7 billion in Europe.
This impressive impact has been enabled by the company’s investment of €14.5 billion in total capital expenditures across all of its European operations in new and existing infrastructure, customer premises equipment, business support and other key services, including a significant investment to bring high-speed internet to four million more European households through new build and upgrades. Notable investments include €5.9 billion in the UK, €2.2 billion in Germany, and €1.9 billion in Belgium and the Netherlands respectively.
The economic benefits to society total more than €7 billion since the start of 2013, including €5 billion in speed benefits to customers through access to a greater range and quality of internet services. There is an additional €1.5 billion in productivity benefits through increased output of small businesses and home workers due to better connectivity, and €536 million in price benefits, as Liberty Global’s investments often introduce network competition to an area for the first time.
Oxera Consulting estimates that the €14.5 billion investment by Liberty Global between the beginning of 2013 and March 2017 has generated a total of €23.7 billion of economic transactions through the supply chain.