Wednesday, April 29, 2009

LSE study on the benefits of investing in digital infrastructure

Put this in your pipes and smoke it (hat tip Jim Baller).

"While the report does not advocate a specific level of investment it models the benefits of £15 billion spent across the three areas:

• £5 billion on broadband networks (creating or retaining 280,000 jobs) with spending focused on getting broadband to unconnected areas, increasing network performance in low-speed areas (3 Mbps or less) and encouraging household take-up of broadband. Spurring more and higher speed broadband would boost business productivity.

• £5 billion on intelligent transport systems (creating or retaining 188,000 jobs). ITS would also improve traffic flows through measures like adaptive traffic signals and electronic tolls and provide travellers with real-time traffic information, The report also finds that extra spending on ITS would deliver environmental benefits and make the country more productive.

• £5 billion on developing a smart power grid (creating or retaining 235,000 jobs). By using two-way communication and sensors, the report argues, a smart grid will deliver power more efficiently and reliably. Houses could be fitted with smart meters which allow people to use electricity at cheaper times of day and which could work with smart fridges or washer-driers to perform high-energy cycles at times of low demand. One US study suggested this could cut 10 per cent from utility bills. The smart grid would also allow the deployment of new greener technologies including plug-in hybrid electric cars."

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