Liberty Global broadband delivers €7bn of social benefits

Liberty Global broadband delivers €7bn of social benefits

Liberty Global’s European broadband investment, from 2013 to the end of Q1 2017, has generated €7 billion of estimated total social benefits, according to research carried out by Oxera Consulting.

Oxera estimates that Liberty Global’s €14.5 billion capital expenditure investment across all of its European operations in broadband infrastructure has generated a total of €23.7 billion of economic transactions through the supply chain. 

In total, Oxera’s report estimates the benefits of Liberty Global’s investment in its cable broadband network since 2013 to be worth €7 billion to customers and businesses in Europe. 

The report follows Liberty Global’s GIGAWorld initiative in November 2016, which outlines Liberty Global’s plans to bring gigabit internet speeds to the European countries in which it operates. Around 50 million homes in Europe have access to Liberty Global’s fibre-based “GIGAReady” networks, and the company expects millions more to be connected over the coming years through its previously announced network extension programs in Europe.

“GIGAWorld is our mission to build robust, reliable, superfast networks that can not only meet the connectivity and speed demands of consumers today, but also support the next-generation devices and applications of tomorrow that will fuel even greater demand,” said Mike Fries, CEO of Liberty Global.

“Our significant investment clearly has a positive impact for consumers and businesses across Europe, and we are proud that it simultaneously generates billions for the economy, while creating clear social benefits through improved speed, productivity and competition.”

The Oxera report estimates that 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.

Enno Eilts, partner at Oxera, added: “Liberty Global’s significant investment in the reach and capability of its broadband cable network is creating considerable benefits for companies and households across Europe. With the digital economy expanding seven times faster than the rest of the economy, high-quality broadband networks are critical. As well as providing consumers with communication and entertainment services, fast and reliable broadband increases the productivity of businesses and provides individuals with access to substantial information and learning resources.”  

In March, Liberty Global hit the headlines when Vodafone reportedly re-entered talks with the company over a possible tie-up in the UK.

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