Fast broadband more important to Brits than trains or airports

How would you prefer to save time this year? Whizzing to your destination on board a high-speed train? Or speeding to a website of choice in a matter of milliseconds with super-fast broadband?

According to research from the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), the majority of the British public would opt for the latter.

IET claims that superfast broadband is more important to the average Brit than building a high-speed rail network or expanding our airports’ capacities.

The IET survey asked 2,000 members of the general public what infrastructure improvements would bring the greatest benefit to the British economy. Of that group, 43 per cent argued that expanding the UK’s Internet and broadband capabilities would deliver the most economic benefit.

30 per cent, meanwhile, said that they believed increasing airport capacity would be most beneficial, either by building new terminals at existing airports or by constructing new ones altogether.

Only 16 per cent of those surveyed hailed high-speed rail projects such as the HS2 as beneficial to the British economy.

"This survey clearly shows that the vast majority of the general public see little economic benefit in increasing capacity at our airports," said Professor Will Stewart, chairman of the IET Communication Policy Panel.

"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."

The revelation will be understood by many in rural Surrey, who will receive super-fast broadband in the new year courtesy of BT.