Extend superfast broadband not airport capacity say Brits in poll

The UK public says extending superfast broadband to all households would be a better investment for the country than increasing airport capacity, according to a recent poll.

The poll was conducted by the market research organization Ipsos Mori on behalf of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) in mid-December 2013.

The results show that 43% of the 2,011 British citizens aged 16 to 75 surveyed believed that equipping all UK households with superfast broadband would be better for the economy than building new runways and airports.

This compares with only 17% of respondents who said they believed building new airports would benefit the UK economy and 12% who said increasing capacity at existing airports by building new runways would be of benefit.

The survey also polled opinion on the high speed rail project (HS-2) and increasing nuclear power capacity.

The UK currently has one high speed rail line (HS-1) that connects London to Brussels and Paris through the channel tunnel. HS-2 would extend UK connections with the Europe-wide high speed network by bringing it to major cities of the Midlands and the North.

Only 16% of respondents said they were in favor of the high speed rail project and believed it would bring more jobs and increase the economy.

And 32% of respondents said they were in favor of building new nuclear power plants.

Support the e-economy, Brits say

Professor Will Stewart, Chair of the IET’s Communications Policy Panel, says the survey is a clear indication of how the vast majority of the UK public feels:

“The public have told us that supporting the e-economy by rolling out universal superfast broadband will have more economic benefits for the UK than more traditional infrastructure projects like increasing airport capacity or high speed rail.”