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Communities with full-fibre broadband networks have a higher gross domestic product (GDP), a study has revealed.

Research conducted by the Analysis Group - commissioned by the Fibre-to-the-Home Council - indicates that areas with fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) broadband have a GDP 1.1 per cent higher than those without ultra-fast broadband.

The research was conducted across 55 communities in nine US states.

However, the results could have a much wider application - and particular relevance to the UK market, where FTTH coverage remains patchy.

FTTH Council President Heather B. Gold offered the view that "gigabit communities are empowered communities".

She explained that the 14 areas out of 55 which had access to 1Gb broadband generated $1.4 billion (£850 million) in additional GDP.

"As we look at these study results, we can clearly conclude that every community should be a gigabit community," Ms Gold stated.

UK broadband provider Virgin Media recently announced plans to trial 1Gb broadband speeds in the Cambridgeshire village of Papworth.

At present, the cable broadband provider offers top download speeds of 152Mb, but these could increase significantly if the pilot is a success.

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