The London School of Economics (LSE) has produced a report detailing how investment in digital networks has the potential to repair the UK economy more than any other physical infrastructure spend.
An investment of £15bn in broadband networks, intelligent transport systems and a smart power grid could create 700,000 jobs according to the report, which was partly funded by IBM.
"Our report shows that in this severe economic climate the right investment in ICT infrastructure would have a significant effect in creating jobs now and in stimulating productivity and innovation for the future," said Jonathan Liebenau, LSE reader in technology management.
The LSE research found that a £5bn spend on broadband networks could create or retain around 280,000 jobs. This means that the latest £10bn of funding for the communications sector promised by chancellor Alisatair Darling in his budget proposals last week is likely to secure around 560,000 jobs.
The LSE advised the government to focus its spend on getting broadband to unconnected areas, increasing network performance in low-speed areas and encouraging household take-up of broadband.
The report added that £5bn on improving transport systems could create or retain around 188,000 jobs. The same amount invested in developing a smart power grid could secure 235,000 positions.
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