A new government report has outlined the apparent social, economic and environmental impacts of public broadband investment.
The 51-page Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) paper claims that government investment in broadband coverage is having a positive impact on the UK as a whole.
In the report, the government argues that improved broadband services are helping to boost productivity and job creation, while supporting new enterprises.
Broadband is described as an enabler of innovation and also of international trade.
In terms of environmental impacts, the DCMS noted that broadband is helping to reduce carbon emissions through the use of cloud services and teleworking.
It said that while broadband networks are significant consumers of electricity, energy efficiency is continuing to improve.
Social impacts include supporting the delivery of communication, entertainment, shopping, learning, health, employment and public services.
The report claimed that the internet is associated with "higher levels of wellbeing".