Economic impact of Virgin owner’s European broadband network reaches €7bn
Lighting up Europe. Image: capitanoseye/Shutterstock
Chief benefits of Liberty Global’s European cable broadband investment include increased productivity and social benefits. Virgin Media’s parent company Liberty Global’s investment in broadband in Europe between 2013 and 2017 is estimated to have had an economic impact worth EUR7bn to the European economy.
Independent research by economists Oxera consulting concluded that the EUR7bn economic impact came in the form of higher connectivity, improved productivity, greater price competition and social benefits.
‘With the digital economy expanding seven times faster than the rest of the economy, high-quality broadband networks are critical’
– ENNO EILTS
The economic impact is broken down into EUR5bn worth of speed benefits, EUR1.5bn in productivity benefits through increased output of small businesses and home workers and EUR536m. Oxera Consulting estimates that the EUR14.5 billion investment by Liberty Global between the beginning of 2013 and March 2017 has generated a total of EUR23.7 billion of economic transactions through the supply chain.
“With the digital economy expanding seven times faster than the rest of the economy, high-quality broadband networks are critical,” said Enno Eilts, partner at Oxera.
“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.”
The report follows the November 2016 launch of Liberty Global’s GIGAWorld initiative, 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.
Liberty Global is the world’s largest cable TV and broadband company. Chaired by John Malone, the company owns Virgin Media in Ireland and the UK. Locally, Virgin Media has been quite acquisitive, buying up TV31 in 2015 and UTV2 in the past year.
The Oxera report follows the November 2016 launch of Liberty Global’s GIGAWorld initiative, which outlines Liberty Global’s plans to bring 1Gbps internet speeds to the European countries in which it operates.
“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 Liberty Global CEO Mike Fries.
“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.”