UK internet economy worth £82 billion

The UK internet economy is now worth almost 6% of the country’s gross domestic product, according to a report by consultancy firm AT Kearney.

The report, sponsored by operator Vodafone was released to tie in with the imminent publication of a green paper by the government on the internet economy. Its present value stands at £82 billion and is higher than the global average - it is now valued as a larger section of the economy than mining and utilities combined.

According to the study, every £1 spent on fixed and mobile internet access accounts for £5 in revenue for the rest of the digital economy. The digital space is defined as anything from internet shopping to social media.

The report notes the majority of value in the UK digital economy comes from e-commerce and mobile commerce, which is worth £45 billion. Connectivity services, online search advertising and device manufacturing makes up an additional £37 billion.

It is thought the government’s green paper, due for release this week, will help redefine regulation for the internet economy, particularly addressing issues such as piracy, media purity and also regulator Ofcom’s direct role in dealing with companies like Google and Facebook.

With plans to roll out superfast broadband and internet services in the UK this year, AT Kearney estimates UK internet traffic will increase by an average of 37% from now to 2015, with mobile internet traffic to increase by almost 84% during the same period.

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