British Labour pledges free full-fibre broadband for all premises

Ruben Fields
November 16, 2019

Addressing an audience in Lancaster, he said: "We are fighting this election on a programme of ending austerity in Britain, reducing inequality and poverty in Britain, ending Universal Credit and all the horrors that have been brought in by the coalition government of the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats from 2010 onwards".

Speaking in Lancashire, Jeremy Corbyn will say today: "A new public service delivering the fastest broadband free to everyone is at the heart of Labour's plans to transform the future of our economy and society".

Labour said it does not intend to bring EE, Plusnet, BT Global Services, BT TV and other such "non-broadband-relevant parts of BT" into public ownership.

Figures suggest the United Kingdom is one of the worst places in Europe for access to full-fibre broadband, as Labour announced plans to provide the technology to every home and business in the United Kingdom by 2030.

The relatively muted market reaction indicates investors do not expect Labour to win, analysts said.

On Friday morning, BT revealed that it had won the rights to broadcast all 420 games of the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League and the new UEFA Europa Conference league from the three seasons beginning with 2021/22.

Johnson derided Corbyn's plan, saying it would undermine the world's fifth largest economy and cost taxpayers dearly.

Labour said the cost of nationalizing parts of BT would be set by parliament and paid for by swapping bonds for shares.

"It needs funding, it is very big numbers".

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"We also have hundreds of thousands of people who used to work for BT who have pensions that they rely on, and we've got to make sure we're generating the returns for those pensioners, and also very, very importantly, for our shareholders, because ultimately they now own the company".

Following Labour's announcement, TalkTalk has put the sale of its full-fibre broadband business, FibreNation, on hold.

"We'll come to an agreement with them".

John le Carre, Maajid Nawaz, Nick Hewer and Joanna Lumley are among 24 public figures who signed a letter to the Guardian, declaring their refusal to vote for the Labour Party because of its association with antisemitism, saying Jeremy Corbyn has "a long record of embracing antisemites as comrades".

"These are very, very ambitious ideas and the Conservative Party have their own ambitious idea for full fiber for everyone by 2025 and how we do it is not straightforward", Chief Executive Philip Jansen told the BBC.

PROMISED SAVING Currently, fewer than 10% of British premises have access to full-fibre broadband - also called fibre to the premises, where fibre optic cable instead of copper is used to connect homes to the network.

BT has been criticized by customers, rivals and the regulator for poor service and a lack of ambition in upgrading its network to fiber, where Britain lags far behind European countries like Spain. Labour has promised that all workers in the broadband infrastructure and retail services will be guaranteed jobs on at least the same pay but it is unclear how this would be achieved too. It said the plan would save the average person 30.30 pounds a month. "So you're not short of £100 billion".

Costs would include a one-off £15.5 billion payment to rollout the full-fibre network, plus the government's existing and not yet spent £5 billion commitment.

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