Digital networks are "as essential to our future prosperity in the 21st century as roads, bridges, trains and electricity were in the 20th century," said prime minister Gordon Brown at the Local Government Network annual conference this morning.
Brown was speaking ahead of the publication of Lord Carter's Digital Britain review, due out at lunchtime.
>> See also: The Carter Review: Digital Britain
Brown said investment in the jobs and the infrastructure of the 21st century were "a pivotal element of our plan for stability and recovery" from the recession.
He said, "Our digital networks will be the backbone of our economy in the decades ahead. We know that every aspect of our lives - every school, every hospital, every workplace and even every home - will depend on the services the digital network provides."
He said building the networks would require leadership from government acting in partnership with the private sector.
"Today's interim report from Lord Carter sets out the scale of our ambition to compete in the digital economy, a market currently worth over £50bn a year in Britain alone and expected to grow rapidly in the future," Brown said.