Better broadband 'will give the UK 60 million hours more free time' header image

Access to faster broadband connections would give Britons significantly more spare time, according to a new government study. 

It claimed the opportunities provided by the web, such as home working and video conferencing, means the time people spend commuting will be greatly reduced and this will save around 60 million hours of leisure time per year. 

The report also said better broadband access will allow people to save money as the cost of travelling to and from work is brought down. 

"By avoiding commuting costs, the additional teleworking enabled by faster broadband will lead to total household savings rising to £270 million per annum by 2024," it stated.

The government also claimed better broadband will have a positive impact on the environment. By reducing the amount of commuting people undertake, fewer cars and other vehicles will be in use, meaning carbon emissions could fall. Indeed, the report predicts 1.6 million tonnes of harmful gases could be saved each year thanks to high-speed internet services.

Commenting on the research, secretary of state for culture, media and sport Maria Miller said: "What this report shows us is that, as well as super-fast broadband being good for economic growth, it will make even more of a positive impact on the way we live, helping us work more productively and get online faster."

The government is currently working to provide 90 per cent of the UK with super-fast connections through its Broadband Delivery UK project. However, it has been suggested this could take until 2017 to complete and the remaining ten per cent of areas will only be guaranteed minimum speeds of two Mbps, which is well below super-fast levels.

A viable alternative is the Tooway satellite broadband service offered by Avonline. This can provide speeds of up to 20 Mbps, which is enough to make the most of the benefits discussed in the government report.