Telecom investment worth millions

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A NEW report has revealed that BT’s investment in superfast broadband is expected to give Northumberland a massive boost, creating thousands of new jobs and start-up businesses in the next 15 years.

The report, by Regeneris Consulting, predicts the high-speed technology is capable of contributing hundreds of millions pounds to the local economy.

It will allow existing firms to operate more efficiently and to develop new products and services and make it easier for new businesses to get started through increasing use of innovations, such as ‘cloud computing’.

And it predicts that over the next 15 years, BT’s superfast broadband investment could give the economy of a typical town a £143million boost, create 225 new jobs and 140 new start-up businesses.

The Regeneris report also examines the wider impact of BT in Northumberland through direct employment, expenditure with contractors and suppliers and the spending of its employees.

It shows that BT last year gave the county’s economy a £14million boost and was responsible for the employment of nearly 70 people, including contractors, while more than 500 BT employees live in the county. BT’s activities also supported more than 200 Northumberland jobs through spending with suppliers and the expenditure of its employees.

Chris Sayers, BT’s regional director for the North East, said: “This report demonstrates the great benefits that BT’s activities, including its major investment in superfast broadband, are delivering for Northumberland and will continue to deliver in the years to come.

“BT is playing a vital role in the prosperity and well-being of the county, from the massive economic boost provided by our activities to the 4,000 hours of volunteering activity carried out by BT’s people right across the region.

“BT’s plans to roll-out next-generation broadband across Northumberland are already well underway. But we want to go further and would very much welcome the opportunity to have an even bigger impact on the regional economy by working with the public sector to make the high-speed technology available in more challenging areas.

“It is vital that we continue to grow and help our customers, stakeholders and employees to thrive as we work together to create a more prosperous county.”

The full report is available at www.btsocialstudy.co.uk