21 Feb 2012

Research puts dollar figure on ultra-fast broadband benefits

1:08 pm on 21 February 2012

A study suggests the Government's fast internet schemes could be worth at least $5 billion over two decades.

The Government is spending just under $2 billion on ultra-fast broadband and a rural broadband initiative.

IT company Alcatel Lucent on Tuesday released its latest research at a high-speed broadband conference in Auckland.

The firm's New Zealand manager, Andrew Miller, says the study shows the two broadband schemes will pay for themselves by adding more than $5 billion to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) over the 20-year period it will take to put them in place.

Mr Miller says savings and efficiencies could be worth $33 billion over the same period, and total benefits are equivalent to 1% of GDP.

In addition, he says, there will be social benefits, particularly in sectors such as health and education.