New Digital Connectivity Social Value Calculator for local authorities

New Digital Connectivity Social Value Calculator for local authorities

Hyperoptic, the UK’s largest Gigabit full fibre provider, has launched a new Digital Connectivity Social Value Calculator to enable local authorities to effectively prioritise hyperfast broadband investment.

The new tool is based on independent data from organisations such as the Official of National Statistics (ONS) and Ofcom. It has been developed in partnership with the Housing Association Charitable Trust (HACT) and social value specialist, Simetrica-Jacobs.

The calculator is the first to be developed for hyperfast broadband and has been designed so those making decisions within local government and housing associations can more easily decide where hyperfast broadband investment priorities should be and where the return on investment will be highest. Similar tools are already used widely by all levels of government across the UK as part of public procurement exercises and regulatory processes for other projects.

The Hyperoptic Digital Connectivity Social Value Calculator recognises that the impact of a hyperfast broadband connection can be split into two categories. Firstly, the economic impact on businesses, consumers, and their finances. Secondly, the social impact on communities and on society as a whole, including the benefits to an individuals’ wellbeing. Both are now accessible within the tool.

In putting this together Hyperoptic has turned to HACT and Simetrica-Jacobs, the leaders in social value analysis, wellbeing research and econometrics. They provide cutting-edge research and advice at the highest level of scientific rigour to governments, international organisations, and the private and not-for-profit sectors. Simetrica-Jacobs has used independent data from organisations such as the ONS and Ofcom to help shape its data modelling.

Liam McAvoy, Senior Director of Business Development, Hyperoptic said: “The UK needs to swiftly move towards full fibre, but we know from our experience of working with many social housing providers that the challenge is in figuring out where to start. In association with our partners at HACT and Simetrica, we are introducing a framework that enables our clients to systematically and objectively evaluate where our collaboration can bring the most value first, so that those communities can be prioritised. Our ambition is that the Social Value Calculator will serve as a powerful tool for those making decisions within local government and housing associations.”

James Williams, Head of Social Impact, Housing Association Charitable Trust (HACT) commented: “HACT have been delighted to be involved in this collaboration with Hyperoptic and Simetrica-Jacobs. We feel confident that Hyperoptic now has a digital social value calculator supported by a theory of change, which will both help to understand the social value of high-speed broadband and, crucially, improve social outcomes in areas of disadvantage.

“HACT is excited to see how the digital social value calculator is utilised in the coming months and years, and in particular how the learnings gathered can be practically applied to new projects and initiatives. Hyperoptic are now able and well equipped to identify clearly what works, to inform good practice both with the wider practitioner community and with local and national stakeholders.”

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