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Investing in high-speed broadband infrastructure can provide a boost to nation's gross domestic product, it has been claimed.

Research conducted by Ericsson, in conjunction with Arthur D. Little and Chalmers University of Technology, suggested that doubling the broadband speed for an economy boosts GDP by 0.3 per cent.

For an average nation in the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD), this equates to $126 billion per year (£92.5 billion).

And a growth rate of 0.3 per cent corresponds to more than one seventh of the average annual OECD growth rate over the last ten years.

The study also indicated that a further doubling of broadband speeds can add another 0.3 per cent to national GDP – meaning an economy would expand by 0.6 per cent.

"This growth stems from a combination of direct, indirect and induced effects," the report stated.

"Direct and indirect effects provide a short to medium term stimulus to the economy. The induced effect, which includes the creation of new services and businesses, is the most sustainable dimension and could represent as much as one third of the mentioned GDP growth."

Johan Wibergh, Head of Business Unit Networks at Ericsson, said broadband has the power to spur economic growth by creating efficiency for society, businesses and consumers.

"It opens up possibilities for more advanced online services, smarter utility services, telecommuting and telepresence," he claimed.

"In health care, for instance, we expect that mobile applications will be used by 500 million people."

Erik Bohlin, Professor at Chalmers University of Technology, noted: "The results of this study support governmental policies that recognize and promote the importance of broadband."

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