The Welsh Economy Research Unit or WERU for short is part of the Cardiff Business School and will be undertaking research on the economic benefit associated with the uptake of superfast broadband technologies by businesses in Wales. The aim behind the project is to help maximise the take-up of superfast broadband as well as assess the economic impact these services have on businesses and communities alike.
Who are WERU?
According to their website the organisation describes itself as “The Welsh Economic Research Unit aims to be the primary source of high quality, academically relevant research on the Welsh Economy for Welsh businesses, public and third sectors.”
The main purpose is to provide expertise on the Welsh economy and regional analysis within Cardiff Business School. WERU are currently involved in a number of projects including the Welsh Economic Review as well as collaborative research projects with other organisations but most importantly it’s the Superfast Broadband Project that really caught our eye.
How is the data collected?
As part of the research WERU are inviting businesses to participate in an online survey. The data collected will add gravitas about the maximisation, take-up and exploitation of superfast broadband enabled services as well as assess the economic impact of these services.
The programme is backed by the European Regional Development Fund and the Welsh Government is delivering a business support programme through Business Wales. Cardiff University is providing research and intelligence to inform the programme and to assist an industry-led panel that informs and advises the programme.
Provide impartial and objective research that will assist strategic plans for delivery of business support for superfast broadband exploitation.
Undertake research to support successful exploitation of superfast broadband infrastructure in Wales.
Provide SMEs with material that will help them to explore innovative outcomes from their access to superfast broadband, and to identify new trends and their fit within wider policy developments.
Examine comparative evidence from other areas and regions that could inform delivery of services and training in Wales.
The purpose of this research is to add value to, and gain a better understanding of how companies can make more innovative use of the opportunities presented by reliable and high capacity internet access.
Throughout 2017 a Digital Maturity Survey has been conducted to provide the first substantive analysis of business exploitation of superfast broadband in Wales. The results are drawn from a survey of 166 businesses across Wales and examines digital maturity with respect to business adoption of superfast broadband, their infrastructure, information technology (IT) capabilities, and performance.
The report finds that Superfast broadband adoption rates vary extensively by business size, industry sector and geography. The more digitally mature businesses in the survey tended to perform better in terms of growth and innovation. Implementing digital technologies, however, is not always straightforward, and even businesses with high IT capability can find it difficult to successfully implement digital technologies in their business.
Stage two involves building on the findings of the Digital Maturity Survey 2017 and conducting an Economic Impact Research Study. The primary focus of the initial analysis, is the first in a series of economic impact reports, is testing models for calculating economic impact. To this end, the analysis comprises the following exploratory analysis:
A synthesis of findings from case study businesses.
Business efficiency, using Frontier analysis.
Input-output modelling for the Welsh economy.
According to WERU “Developments in connectivity are occurring rapidly, in not only a technological context, but also from a political, economic, social, legal and environmental point of view.” Therefore the horizon scanning work will identify and share new practice and technology developments and ensure these technology developments fit within wider policy, socio-economic and spatial trends.
Findings from this horizon scanning will be used to shape delivery activities to ensure interventions with businesses remain competitive, current and truly innovative.
As part of the ongoing research and interviews WERU have been interviewing small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in Wales to better understand their business engagement with superfast broadband services. You can therefore find a selection of Case Studies on their website about some of the companies they have been working with.
Airefibre and Ultra-fast Broadband
We are committed to help drive fast internet access for all in Wales. Whilst we are still covering Cardiff and the surrounding area at this present moment, our engineers are working closely with partners, councils, landowners and others to start broadcasting ultra-fast broadband to rural areas. We also recently partnered up with the Radisson Blu in the centre of Cardiff, meaning our transmitters are now on top of their 63 Metre tower, giving us a wider reach not only in the city but also in a 30 mile radius.
Our technology is different in the way that we can beam high speed internet direct to your premises at speeds of up to 200 Mbps download and upload, compared to the standard connection which is up to 30 Mbps. We’re a Welsh business leading a technology revolution in Wales. Let’s work together.
Get in touch to see how we can help.