People with faster broadband spend more online, study finds header image

Published: 14th Aug 2014

Having access to faster broadband leads people to spend more money online, new research has revealed.

A study conducted by the Centre for Economic and Business Research on behalf of Royal Mail found that individuals with access to super-fast services have increased their online spending by £225 million.This represents a rise of 3.1 per cent and an extra £23 per person. 

According to the report, faster broadband has had the greatest impact in Wales and Scotland, where it has encouraged increases in online spending of 4.4 per cent and 5.1 per cent respectively. The lowest rise has occurred in the south west of England, where the figure is just 1.4 per cent.

Royal Mail said the low population densities in Wales and Scotland - 148 and 68 people per sq km, respectively, compared to 407 in England - means internet shopping is more convenient as the distances to larger shopping centres are likely to be greater in these nations.

It claimed the smaller rise in the south west may be linked to the fact the region has the highest average age in the UK, suggesting older people are less comfortable shopping online.

In terms of individual cities, Edinburgh has seen faster broadband drive the greatest increase in web purchases. Residents of the Scottish capital are estimated to have spent an extra £4.4 million once gaining access to better connections.

Birmingham was ranked second, while Glasgow came in third. Cardiff and Croydon in south London completed the top five.

The study estimated that when the government finally completes its super-fast rollout, which aims to bring better broadband to between 90 and 95 per cent of the UK, overall online spending will increase by £740 million each year.

Being able to shop online is one of the greatest advantages of a fast internet connection and if the government rollout has not reached your area, you can still enjoy the benefits of e-commerce by turning to satellite broadband instead.