A recent white paper tabled by Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove has promised a 40 per cent increase in public expenditure on research and development across the UK.
This follows an announcement in last year’s Autumn Budget of £49 million in ‘levelling up’ funding for Northern Ireland as well as the Department for the Economy’s ‘Project Stratum’ – NI’s largest publicly funded investment in broadband infrastructure.
Improved broadband and digital infrastructure can provide benefit for us all – we outline the main advantages here:
Better broadband and digital infrastructure enable local communities and regions to develop, attract and retain top talent, providing a boost to businesses of all sizes, from SMEs to large international corporations. It also improves the productivity and profitability of large, small and home-based businesses and allows them to compete in local, national and global markets.
Improved working from home
The coronavirus pandemic has inevitably fuelled the trend towards home working. This has resulted in many more people understanding the true value of a fast and dependable broadband connection in terms of productivity and efficiency. Reliable access to corporate systems, video conferencing services and Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) often requires a high-quality superfast connection and ensuring that all employees have access to this wherever they are will enable a business to maximise productivity.
Broadband can make remote access to clinical services possible for patients, providing significantly improved, cost-effective access to quality health care. It also allows medical professionals to monitor their patients through innovative home health devices, reducing the need for house calls. Improved broadband services can also enable the exchange of patients’ digital health records, allowing practitioners to access this information irrespective of their location, reducing the strain on central medical institutions and improving the accuracy of diagnoses.
Broadband can play a significant role in revitalising previously isolated urban communities, allowing residents and businesses to participate in and benefit from many aspects of today’s economy and society, including online services such as banking and shopping along with wider access to employment and financial and time savings associated with online access.
It is clear that there are significant gains to be made from improved digital infrastructure. Continued development will of course be crucial if we are to build an economy ready to seize the opportunities associated with digital transformation.
Visit www.b4bgroup.ie or call us on 02890748844 to find out more about how we can help your business benefit from improved digital infrastructure.