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Labour promises free full-fibre broadband internet for all UK

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A general view shows the reception area at the BT office headquarters in Singapore on January 4, 2019. / AFP / ROSLAN RAHMAN

Jeremy Corbyn leader of the Labour party, speaking at a meeting in Lancaster, has pledged to provide free full-fibre broadband internet to every home and business in all areas of the UK, should Labour win the general election.

This would involve part-nationalising BT (British Telecom), a major British provider of broadband internet, telephone and television services, and taxing tech companies to pay for the running costs.

The proposed plan would, according to Labour, equate to a monthly saving of around £30 per month for the average British household, which voters should find quite attractive.

Britain has very low broadband penetration with ten percent or fewer of households connected. In South Korea 98% of all households have access to full-fibre broadband.

John McDonnel, Shadow chancellor, said that the plan, costing £20 billion, would also benefit businesses presently using or developing 5G technology and the underlying infrastructure.

McDonnel went on to explain that, while technology giants like Google and Facebook will be taxed to provide funding for the scheme, they will actually be paying for the very same infrastructure that their own businesses run on.

Boris Johnson, speaking at the launch of the Conservative battle bus in Oldham, derided Labour’s free broadband plan as being nothing more than a “crazed communist scheme”, which unlike his proposed Broadband superfast full-fibre broadband, is bound to fail.

Whoever wins the election in December will, hopefully, attempt to implement their own version of full-fibre broadband for the masses.

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