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Lack of Good Rural Broadband in Wales Could Cost Homes GBP3769 Per Year

Thursday, Mar 15th, 2012 (8:55 am) - Score 395

Wispa Limited, an outspoken group of consultants who believe homes and businesses in Wales (UK) deserve better broadband, claims to have estimated the “true cost of a lack of rural broadband” to the Welsh economy and population. Apparently a poorly served household in Wales could be paying £3769.20 extra per year due to a lack of adequate internet connectivity.

Furthemore if this was applied to C400,000 households in Wales then the total cost to Welsh residents could be £1.5bn. By contrast the Welsh Government has previously suggested that good quality broadband might deliver an increase of £2.45bn to the local economy.

Richard Brown, COO of Wispa Limited, said:

This is shameful, the Welsh Government are costing its residents hundreds of millions of pounds per year, all for the lack of decisive and effective broadband policy. This situation is out of control [and] if we don’t wake up to this very soon, it will simply be too late.”

In fairness the Welsh Government’s Digital Wales Strategy envisages the deployment of 30Mbp+ capable superfast broadband services to 100% of the country’s businesses by the middle of 2016 and households by 2020, so it’s not totally devoid of action even if what they’ve proposed might not represent a perfect solution.

Thankfully Wispa has included a simplified summary of its calculations (credits for that), alongside some rather broad assumptions, which show a number of problems. For example, it assumes that many common tasks (e.g. being unable to do online banking) would require multiple car trips when in fact they could also be done over the phone. It also seems to assume a total lack of internet connectivity, although a lot of basic tasks can still be performed with slower internet connections. But make your own minds up.

Assumptions

Any trips are made independently and not combined
Public transport is ignored (due to lack of availability in many areas)
Fuel costs are calculated at 25p per mile (no additional calculation for RFL, Maintenance etc included)
Each road trip is assumed to have a flat cost of £2 for public parking if it is a round trip

Unable to register births, or marriages online – 1x roundtrip of 14miles @ £5.50
Unable to do online banking (24trips per year) – 24 x 14miles @ £132
Unable to grocery shop online (52trips per year – no parking charges) – 52 x 14miles @ £182
Increased cost of motor insurance (going to broker instead of comparison site) – 1x £76 + 1x 14miles @ £5.50 = £81.50
Increased cost of home insurance (going to broker instead of comparison site) – 1x £87 + 1x 14miles @ £5.50 = £92.50
Increased cost of home contents insurance (going to broker instead of comparison site) – 1x £63 + 1x 14miles @ £5.50 = £68.50
Increased cost of life assurance (going to broker instead of comparison site) assuming two adults – £100
Increased cost of travel insurance (going to broker instead of comparison site) – £50
Increased telephone bill (annually) due to inability to use email – 1x £69.50
Increased cost of viewing movies (using SKY instead of Netflix etc) assuming one movie per week – 12 x £8 = £96
Increased cost of electrical goods (not being able to price compare) annually – £157
Increased cost of annual holiday (not being able to price compare) annually – £349
Increased cost of utilities (not being able to use comparison sites) £200 annually (assumes only electricity)
Increased cost to buy fuel oil by inability to participate in group purchase schemes – £200
Increased cost of clothes shopping annually (not being able to shop online) – £100
Loss of cashback (Quidco etc) – £450 (mid estimate based on Quidco estimation)
Lost saving on breakdown cover for car – £50 + 1x 14miles @£5.50 =£55.50
Increased day trip costs (no access to last minute deals or vouchers online) assuming 2x trips per year – £50
Missed money saving deals on items that would have been purchased anyway from Martin Lewis (et al) annually – £190
Car replacement savings – £500 (online deals are invariably lower)
Directory enquiry costs (assuming 1x enquiry per month that could have been found online) – £12

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Mark-Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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