Washington, DC - The UK can create and retain 700,000 jobs with policies to spur ambitious and immediate investment in its digital networks, finds a study published today.
An additional £15 billion invested in broadband networks, intelligent transport systems and a smart power grid would not only create jobs, more than half in small businesses, but also boost UK productivity, concludes The UK’s Digital Road to Recovery – an independent study produced by the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and Information Technology and Innovation Fund (ITIF) and made possible by support from IBM.
The investment would also improve general quality of life and the environment, for example by reducing traffic congestion and reducing household energy bills.
The report finds that investment in information and communication technology (ICT) would be even more effective at stimulating the economy than spending on roads, bridges and other forms of physical infrastructure.
This is partly because many types of digital infrastructure create additional jobs outside their immediate sector by giving rise to new kinds of consumer and business activity and enabling new technologies – an effect known as the ‘network multiplier’.
The report recommends that the Government should lead the investment of extra money through a mixture of direct spending, tax incentives and regulatory changes that spur increased private sector investment in these key parts of the digital infrastructure.
While the report does not advocate a specific level