It’s a busy month here at WWC Towers: we’re finalising reviews on government support for R&D and access to finance and are in the middle of reading papers relating to a new review on area based regeneration (including neighbourhood renewal and estate renewal). We’re also finalising our first short policy briefing, exploring the local economic impacts of public realm improvements. More on that soon.
This week we are starting out on a new review of evidence relating to the local economic impacts of high speed internet connectivity. We know this topic will interest a lot of our local authority and LEP users around the country who are considering, or rolling out, schemes to connect their local businesses to fast internet. Some of you will have cash from the Urban Broadband Fund, the Rural Broadband Programme or extensions to these. Other may be working with ISPs or mobile providers on schemes of your own.
The review will look for evidence around direct provision of internet infrastructure, subsidies for deployment of infrastructure and private sector demonstrator projects. Where we can, we’ll look at both superfast broadband and public wifi accessibility.
We are currently searching through all the evidence we can find on the issue; including putting out this call for evidence. We are interested to hear from you if you can point us in the direction of economic impact evaluations of high speed internet. Especially those which have before-and-after comparisons and which compare places that received new or upgraded infrastructure compared with similar places that didn’t. We’re also interested in existing reviews of evidence in the field.
If in doubt – send it in! We would much rather filter out things which turn out not to meet our criteria than miss key pieces of evidence. As usual, please get in touch with us via email or twitter. Or leave us a comment below, and we’ll be in touch.
The deadline for submissions is Friday 31st October.