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Labour Conference Backs Free Full Fibre Broadband for All UK Again

Monday, September 27th, 2021 (11:26 am) - Score 3,144
labour political party uk

Delegates at the UK Labour Party’s annual conference have passed a key motion on public ownership, which technically commits the party to nationalise the “broadband-relevant parts of BT” (Openreach) and “deliver free full-fibre broadband to all by 2030.” It also adds a new “jobs guarantee” to protect workers. Easy to say, hard to do.

The somewhat radical policy position was previously put forward during the Jeremy Corbyn-era, as part of Labour’s Manifesto for the 2019 General Election (here). But that one also came alongside a related pledge to invest £20bn toward the deployment of full fibre.

NOTE: Readers should always take any political pledges, from any party, with a pinch of salt until there’s more solid detail.

Since then, Labour’s new leader, Sir Keir Starmer, has appeared to roll back on some of the more radical ideas from 2019 and that clearly didn’t sit well with party members. In response, The Communication Workers Union (CWU) and Unite proposed a new motion on public ownership that would effectively re-commit the party to the previous policy position.

The motion was passed at Labour’s annual 2021 conference with a show of hands, although the current leadership seems unlikely to formally adopt it.

The Motion on Public Ownership

Conference notes that the Covid-19 pandemic has led to a widely held desire for a new economic model that meets the needs of our communities and not just those of exploitative shareholders and external investors.

Timid tweaks to the current system will not fix the structural problems that the pandemic has both exposed and exacerbated. Deep and transformative change is required, and the case for extending democratic public ownership in the post-covid economy could not be clearer.

This is certainly the case in the postal and telecoms industries, where CWU members, as keyworkers, have made a huge contribution to their communities throughout the course of the pandemic.

The aim of the next Labour government must be to transform our economy by delivering an irreversible shift in wealth and power to working people. In order to achieve this. Conference:

— commits to bring Royal Mail back into public ownership, reuniting it with the Post Office and creating a publicly owned Post Bank run through the post office network;

— commits to bring the broadband-relevant parts of BT into public ownership, with a jobs guarantee for all workers in existing broadband infrastructure and retail broadband work, so as to deliver free full-fibre broadband to all by 2030;

— believes that we must continue to build quality public services that are democratic and give workers and their communities a greater voice as well as involving trade unions in both their establishment and delivery.

The original proposal in 2019 resulted in a huge backlash from the industry, since Labour seemed to be proposing to cancel an entire competitive sector of several hundred operators and their staff, including complex supply chains, and to re-build it around just two new entities – British Digital Infrastructure (they’d deploy the public network) and the British Broadband Service (they’d deliver free broadband like an ISP).

Naturally, promising a nation that their broadband access will become full fibre, and be “free“, is always going to be very popular, although such ideas tend to overlook the huge complexities and costs involved in the endeavour. Not to mention the potential for tax rises and any delays from the transition phase, which could trigger a fair few legal battles. Suddenly, getting to 2030 might take much longer.

In any case, we analysed all of this back in 2019 and don’t wish to repeat ourselves too much (see here). But one of the key issues with Labour’s proposal was that it didn’t seem to be necessary. A new breed of infrastructure competitors, such as CityFibre and many more (Summary of UK Full Fibre Builds), had already sprung up with significant rollout plans and were weakening BT and Virgin Media’s hold.

Today the market is awash with independent operators’ deploying Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) infrastructure, which is in turn helping to make faster broadband services not only more widely available, but also better value (i.e. more Megabits for your £). The combined level of private investment for all this massively exceeds Labour’s proposed £20bn (BT alone are putting in £15bn and Virgin Media will put a few billion more toward it), but that would of course dry up if somebody took a grenade to the sector.

NOTE: INCA estimates that alternative networks – excluding BT and VM – have an intended capital expenditure – from now until end-2025 – of over £10.8bn, with operational expenditure of at least £1bn (here).

As Andrew Glover, UK ISPA Chair, said in 2019: “Labour’s plan exposes a fundamental misunderstanding of how broadband is delivered in the UK. Labour has identified some challenges relating to broadband infrastructure, but has wildly underestimated the costs involved. This proposal would also undermine the huge private investment and existing work already in motion to deliver nationwide access to gigabit broadband.”

All of this begged the question, why spend billions of public money when the private sector could do most of the work for you, without taxpayers footing the bill. Equally, many of the core improvements that Labour sought to deliver could still be achieved without destroying the sector – Point Topic already forecasts that 98% will get gigabit-capable broadband by 2030.

In addition, a future government could still potentially offer a “free” basic broadband service via a new regulated social tariff (details would be up to Ofcom / Gov to agree with industry), which could be offered to people who are unemployed or on low incomes (i.e. only those who actually need it). A little public subsidy may still be required, and it would need wide support from ISPs, but it could be done and without destroying the market.

Finally, both the new and old commitment made vague proposals to protect jobs, although it remains incredibly difficult to know how that could realistically be achieved (fewer staff would be needed to maintain a single network and ISP). One of the problems here is that investor flight would also start to occur long before the party’s policy could even begin to be implemented, leading to job losses and company collapses. Labour’s laser focus on BT in all this is another issue, since today’s market is much more diverse and complex than it was 10-15 years ago.

At the end of the day, it is possible to do what the unions and many Labour members appear to want, but nobody should be suggesting that doing so would suddenly produce a magic fix for rural broadband connectivity (full fibre will still take years to deploy), or that there wouldn’t be significant cost, delay and disruption involved in that transition. For some, such radical change would still be absolutely worth it, but you’d be hard-pressed to find anybody in the industry who agrees.

When we ran a snap poll on Labour’s 2019 proposal, some 10% of 611 UK respondents were undecided on support for it, while 25% supported the plan and 65% didn’t like it. But it should be noted that a higher proportion of our readership will have some familiarity with how the industry works and so may better understand the potential obstacles.

In the meantime, we’re still several years away from the next General Election (May 2024), and it remains to be seen whether the Party’s leadership will officially adopt the recent conference vote into a future manifesto pledge. Finally, we suspect there will be a few comments on this one – as is the norm for politically divisive issues, but please try to avoid being abusive toward others or trolling (we’ll remove any comments that step over that line). Keep it constructive.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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79 Responses
  1. Free stuff for everyone says:

    lol this old chestnut again. Free broadband for everyone, that will make the can’t work/won’t work group get off the couch won’t it. How about some free netflix too? maybe a free nintendo switch?

    I can’t understand the people that think this is fine. I’m not rich, I worked for everything I got in fact the job centre told me to go away in Jan 2020 before COVID when I was made redundant, they said I can’t sign on for 8 weeks… by which time we were in a pandemic. But then there are families where grandparents, parents, children all don’t work and the government throws free broadband , free boilers , free double glazing at em.

    Why.

    We’re not a communist country are we?

    1. david sobis says:

      perhaps you ask your Tory rich mates to pay for it as they waste tax payers money on track and trace farce and dodgy ppe contracts to there Tory donors this governments corrupt .

    2. Aled says:

      Methinks the Labour communication union are scared of the current situation. The alt-nets are tearing up the old monopoly and there will be some tough decisions made at some point. Prices and speed are booming forward which is great to see.

      Many of the altnet staff will not be union members.

    3. Ivor says:

      @Aled

      you mean the “monopoly” in the highly commercially viable areas where Openreach is doing FTTP and Virgin already has cable (with a plan to replace that with its own FTTP)? There’s rather less of an appetite for anyone other than OR to go big on market towns and rural, no matter how many incentives Ofcom throws at it (like forcing OR to provide duct and pole access).

      Once the consolidation happens we’re likely to see OR + VM + one altnet in major cities and OR monopoly elsewhere, just like how the 90s cable boom ended up not demolishing the BT/Sky dominance.

      The union angle probably isn’t as big as you think. BT staff are represented by two unions, one of which is not Labour aligned anyway

    4. Sam P says:

      Couldn’t agree more with @Free stuff for everyone. Totally on point.

    5. Daniel P says:

      The employment rate in this country is one of the highest it’s ever been, and you’re accusing people of being lazy?
      Obviously Netflix and games consoles aren’t considered ‘essential services’.

      There’s no such thing as ‘free boilers’ and ‘free double glazing’. Government grants perhaps, but they’re designed to incentivise people to make their properties more energy efficient, which is a very important thing to do.

      As for your communist comment, I doubt you even know what it means. Do you think Socialism and Communism are the same thing?

  2. Moss says:

    Free fibre internet is a joke and will not go far, we all know that (take a pinch of salt when labour says this) they have for that matter (twice now).

  3. Dave says:

    If something was going to be provided for ‘free’ surely it would be something like water?

    I pay £36 a month for water, more than any other utility.

    1. AnotherTim says:

      Do you not have a water meter? Unless you use a lot of water I’d get one fitted.

    2. Art Fish says:

      £36/month here too for water and waste; all lumped in with council tax; no water meter.

    3. AnotherTim says:

      Everyone has the right to ask for a free water meter (unless you are a tenant with a very short lease), and they can be fitted in almost cases. That way you only pay for the water you use (and the waste is charged correspondingly). Even if your water is included in with rent, you have the right to be charged for what you use, and there are limits to how much a landlord can inflate the price.

    4. Sheldon says:

      @AnotherTim
      A water meter only makes sense if you’re a low user. Pretty much all large families find it cheaper to pay a fixed water rate, based on size of property. Of course those in new builds are forced to use a water meter (excluding Scotland)

    5. AnotherTim says:

      @Sheldon, it would depend on the ratable value of your property – water rates for unmetered properties are based on the ratable value. A large family in a low ratable value property may end up paying more. Most people, and even heavy water users in an expensive house, are likely to save money with a meter.

  4. Aictos says:

    Instead of pushing for free full fibre internet, the push should be towards full fibre coverage to cover 90 to 95% of the country by 2024.

    That and get Virgin O2 to open up their infrastructure to competing ISPs in much the same way that BT has done with Openreach.

    1. Mark Jackson says:

      VMO2 look set to do that, provided they can reach an agreement with one of the key ISPs to support their wholesale strategy. So far they’ve got everything in place, except support from a key ISP (other than VM itself).

    2. AnotherTim says:

      Actually,rather than pushing for full fire for 90-95%, I’d rather they pushed for a minimum of superfast broadband for those that still don’t have it (and will be in the group that won’t get FTTP either).

    3. Ferrocene Cloud says:

      Not sure why VMO2 should be forced to open up infrastructure if they’ve paid for it themselves. Why would I spend billions if I can allow a competitor to do it and they’ll be forced to give me access anyway?

      With BT it is different as a lot of their infrastructure was built at taxpayer expense, and the overall model for BT-based providers works well in my opinion. Openreach sell the underlying infrastructure particularly the last mile leg, and providers provide the actual layer 3 service + extras on top, which means there’s lots of competition. Certainly when it comes to the FTTP service, I think OR do a good job. It’s a fibre, it gets my bytes from my home to the exchange, where it gets handed over to my ISP. All they need to do (though they likely also provide the provider backhaul from the exchange so they need to keep that fibre working too).

      The only problem I have with VM services is they have a de facto monopoly in many areas, and need more regulation on the quality of the service they provide. Massively overselling because your customers can’t move away isn’t acceptable. If they can move to a comparable BT-based service then VM can be as bad as they want, because then there’s competition.

      Also even if VM’s networks were opened up, the problems they tend to have are more towards the last mile end, so competition would do very little here. If you’ve got thousands of customers over-congesting the same link, it doesn’t matter if they’re thousands of VM customers, or VM customers and ISP2 customers. Longer term this shouldn’t be an issue when it gets migrated to FTTP though.

  5. Nope, nada, nil. says:

    Yeah, because telecoms worked great when it was state run.

    How long until they cut you off for the wrong opinions?

    State run and owned internet should terrify people, yet the free stuff brigade will lap this up.

    1. Daniel P says:

      If the government wanted to censor the internet, they could already do so. Look at all the torrent sites they have blocked access to on major ISPs.

  6. Jason says:

    For that stupid reason alone I won’t be voting labour. The focus should be on more coverage, how would alternative networks operate against free service.

    There’s so many more better things that could be done with the money

  7. Daniel P says:

    Internet is now considered by many to be an ‘essential service’, so it’s a good idea to have it publicly owned like other essential services.

    1. AnotherTim says:

      What other essential services are publicly owned? – I can’t think of any.

    2. Steve Blake says:

      Scottish water is publicly owned. They charge us only £20/m or so for unlimited water use in a 4 bedroom property. Water is billed with council tax, as is the case everywhere in Scotland.

    3. John H says:

      Scottish Water covers the UK area’s with the highest rainfall, however at the first sign of a dry spell out come the hose bans. You can report a mains water leak and then start the count for how many months before they turn up to fix it.

    4. Daniel P says:

      I’m saying essential services like water and power should be nationalised. For example, Great British Railways is being created to run the railways after the collapse of the franchise system.

  8. William Wilkinson says:

    It’s not free though is it. It’s just higher taxes. I read this site everyday and it seems to me that the fibre roll out is going really well. It’s best left to the dynamism of the private sector, with the right conditions created by government to incentivise investment, as has happened. Nobody in the Labour party has any business experience, imagine Labour politicians being in control of the broadband roll out.

    1. Mickey says:

      i wouldn’t worry about it. It’s not like Labour are electable any time soon. We’ll probably see 100% FTTP coverage before we see another Labour run government.

    2. Daniel P says:

      If money wasn’t spent on ‘overbuilding’ in different areas we could use that money to roll out FTTP at a quicker pace. It would be a more efficient way of doing it rather than leaving it up to multiple private companies to fight it out.

    3. Gary H says:

      Daniel, bit of a confusion about using ‘That money’ so ‘We’ can build more efficiently… ! BY ‘That money’ you mean the private investors money don’t you. So unless you’re planning to do an Argentina and just Nationalise private industry and steal the assets ‘WE’ Won’t have ‘that money’

  9. Vanburen says:

    Well this is rubbish idea that sounds good at a superficial level. So no wonder politicians like it.

    The thought of being tied to the “British Broadband Service” vs being able to choose between multiple ISPs is pretty disheartening.

  10. Mark says:

    @Another Tim some areas won’t get FTTP! They’ll have no choice to fibre most areas due to copper retirement in years to come.Ok some very remote areas will have to have a Wireless satellite solution, but I would expect most small towns and villages to have it. And of course not all folk are wireless/mobile mast friendly and oppose that, also Satellite won’t work everywhere due to coverage or planning/Conservation areas.

  11. NE555 says:

    “an irreversible shift in wealth and power to working people”

    … and away from the end-user / customer.

    The telecom network exists to primarily to serve its users, not its employees.

    “Free” Internet is no good to anyone if it takes 12 months to get installed, and 6 months to be repaired when it breaks.

  12. Mike says:

    How about a free computer as well?

    1. Buggerlugz says:

      Good luck with that one Mike, with the current component shortage.

    2. Gary H says:

      No worries, come to Scotland for you free laptop.

  13. Nothanks says:

    good god a government supplied broadband ? That sounds like a nightmare to me. Same goes for state run telecoms, been there, done that .. failed miserably. Perhaps the government will also supply a list of pre-approved websites for us to visit with our free broadband. Even if it were offered free from the gov, I’d rather pay for it or have none.

    1. Daniel P says:

      BT was going to replace the copper lines with fibre in the 80s, before Margaret Thatcher decided to privatise telecoms.

    2. A says:

      @Daniel P Not true, the fibre thing was post BT privatisation and was on the condition that they could use it for TV as well (this was banned at the time for BT to encourage competition). BT were told no so they stuck with copper.

  14. Fastman says:

    its never going to happen — just noise on a slow news day — next election not scheduled till 2024 — but that time the fibre world will be more advanced (fttp) thatn it is today

    its like labour when last in government looked at a 2 meg USO —

    1. Buggerlugz says:

      The fibre-world may be more advanced by 2024, but the UK will still be living in the past, due to under-investment and shady back room deals.

  15. Ray Leeds says:

    I wish people would wake up! anything that is nationalised like the old days ie The Railways the Post Office including Telephones before BT, who pays their wages??? like the Health Service simple the tax payer so in this case it won’t work there will be little competition in the Broadband market, It’s a non starter.

    1. Yatta! says:

      Strange that in other countries, they can manage to pay the wages of nationalised industries, including rail and the post office, whilst running them successfully, providing their services at fair rates, and not being a burden on the public purse…

      I’m fairly middle of the road politically, no party political affiliation. I’m in favour of natural monopolies being publicly held i.e. railways and water etc, though not so much for telecoms.

    2. Buggerlugz says:

      Other countries know the difference between providing national infrastructure services to the public for the public good, our criminals in charge only do it for their own good, effectively its only worthwhile to them if there is something in it for them.

  16. SomersetBob says:

    Why should Broadband be singled out? If they believe it is an essential service then they should be offering free water, electricty and gas as well, and of these water should be highest priority as there is no competitive market.
    /sarc

    1. Corporal Punishment says:

      Because broadband is a lot lot cheaper than other utilities. Have you ever heard of someone paying £25/m for gas and electric for average consumption? No, me neither.

    2. Buggerlugz says:

      And petrol too, would be good.

  17. Magic money planet. says:

    No matter what daft spending policies Labour dream-up, their handling of of public finances could never match Johnson and the kleptocrats’ TITANIC mismanagement and brazen corruption.

    1. Terry Smith says:

      “No matter what daft spending policies Labour dream-up, their handling of of public finances could never match Johnson and the kleptocrats’ TITANIC mismanagement and brazen corruption.”

      If the corruption is as brazen as you say, where is the evidence of it?

      There are a lot of very shouty opinionated people who all allege corruption, and yet the National Audit Office have carefully examined pandemic procurements with no evidence found of it.

      What the NAO has found and reported is that procurement rules for 3+ month tendering processes were relaxed to accelerate the sourcing of scarce PPE and covid tests. This is actually quite sensible – making the NHS wait round for a 3-5 month sourcing exercise without PPE would have rightly been national outrage.

      Other governments in Europe have been criticised for the same thing – in most cases it’s been the Secretary of State (or foreign equivalents) who have had to use their decision rights to waive normal procurement checks. In all these cases, we can look back and criticise the decisions taken from the benefit of hindsight without any real understanding of the constraints in play at the time.

      So in the absence of any fact to proove your claim, is it not the case that the suggested “corruption” is just being used as a political football? If the evidence is so overwhelming as people claim, why is it that the National Crime Agency and National Audit Office haven’t found it?

    2. AnotherTim says:

      Most of those links don’t really show clear corruption – Dr Phillip Lee did some work as a doctor, shocking! Some other MPs owned some shares in publicly traded companies – wow.
      Try these links for clear corruption and stealing from taxpayers:
      https://www.channel4.com/news/mps-expenses-david-chaytor-jailed-for-18-months
      https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/mps-expenses/labour-mps-expenses/8418066/Jim-Devine-jailed-for-16-months-over-expenses-fraud.html
      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-25492017
      https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2011/may/20/mps-expenses-elliot-morley-sentenced

    3. Buggerlugz says:

      Also Terry, you forget the NAO works for the government, if no.10 doesn’t like something they publish, it doesn’t see the light of day. We only see what they want us to see.

  18. Sam P says:

    Free water or electricity should surely be above free broadband?

    But to be honest, I think we should all be paying for everything we consume, nothing should be free. That’s why we work. Earn your rewards.

    1. Daniel P says:

      In that case, should we privatise healthcare like in the US? Just look at the sort of bills they get over there.

    2. Sam P says:

      With the amount of National Insurance I pay and the low level of healthcare I get, yes, I’d rather have a system like they have in the states. The average monthly insurance cost is less than what I pay on NI and I’d be getting top notch care.

      That’s just my opinion, don’t get triggered because you have a different opinion, please.

    3. Daniel P says:

      Well, good luck with that. There’s having opinions and then there’s blatant stupidity.
      Maybe you should learn some manners too while you’re at it.

    4. Bingo says:

      There’s only one person here who lacked manners, and it wasn’t Sam… just like hmmm all of your posts here Daniel. “Don’t agree with me? then you’re stupid”.

    5. Daniel P says:

      So you think debating others is rude now? Maybe this comment section isn’t for you.

    6. Bingo says:

      and you think “Debate” means calling peoples comments “stupid”, telling them to learn some manners when they were perfectly courteous and did not deserve that. I think you have a problem in being able to hold a “debate”. Not sure you know what one is. You’re not at your Labour party conference now, we’re not interested in your whataboutism.

      The cheek, being rude to people then demanding they learn manners and calling your rudeness “debate”.

      Grow up, or go back to playing with your xbox.

  19. A says:

    Once again Labour have completely forgotten that Openreach is only to the exchange, fairly useless without backhaul.

    1. Buggerlugz says:

      To give Labour credit they’re probably using the same “Ladybird book on telecoms” that the Tory MP’s scan through. You have to be up to Jennifer Yellow-hat grade to understand the complexities of backhaul.

    2. A says:

      @Buggerlugz Don’t tell them that BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Zen all have different backhaul networks, they haven’t got onto that book yet! Maybe they’ll even discover that the companies who operate the undersea cables want money as well!

  20. Non partisan realist who loves ispreview isms says:

    Of course a post about the Labour party would require whataboutisms and comments on political party X did Y so is bad. The current facts from someone who doesn’t care if a blond haired clown runs the country or a privileged knight who is out of touch with the common person on the street are that currently under whatever pantomime government is in charge OR and VMO2 and the altnets are deploying fibre at an astonishing pace. Rants about but muh lil village of local people doesn’t have this or that aside, no government has been more involved with getting actual fibre proper internet or at least (when VMO2 is concerned)gigabit capable broadband delivered to the people.

    The Labour part might want to give people internet for free, so it seems the tories. But The “evil tories” that many of ISPReview’s readers keep whinging about seems to be the ones doing something about it.

  21. MrTruth says:

    Labour can promise whatever they like but they ain’t running the country nor will they be anytime soon.

    Its easy for people to be back seat drivers and crow about the current people in power but give them the purse strings and the country would be bankrupt. very quickly.

    1. Daniel P says:

      Do you actually know the difference between Socialist policies and Communism?
      Are you one of those who thinks Labour caused a global recession in the late 00s?

    2. Daniel P says:

      Our level of debt as a percent of GDP is nowhere near a country like Japan, so what exactly do you mean by bankrupt?
      Above the Tories arbitrary limit? Just low enough to keep the working class poor?

  22. RaptorX says:

    People slag off this idea, but it’s definitely a better deal for people like myself where we can’t get any kind of fibre, because neither Openreach, nor any of their competition still have no plans to install it round my way after more than a decade. I’m still stuck on ADSL and badly missing out on superfast broadband now. Therefore, I’m in favour of it.

    1. Fastman says:

      so what have you actually done about it then – other then grump

      ask an alnet to come , do an openreach CFP – so what have you tried and are you eligible for vouchers –

    2. Daniel P says:

      He shouldn’t have to try anything Fastman, it should be up to the government to provide decent public services.

    3. GNewton says:

      @Fastman: Yours is a strange thinking here. Why should a customer have to organise a campaign just to get a vital utility? Would you have to do that for electricity or water?

      The core issue here simply is the failure of the telecoms industry to provide up-to-date fibre infrastructures, partly also caused by failed past government policies. This country is more than a decade behind of where it should be with regards to fibre provision, with almost 3/4 of the country still without fibre!

    4. AnotherTim says:

      I’m not sure that free broadband would actually reach 100% – if the gap funding is too expensive now, then the taxpayer paying for everything will be far too expensive. They won’t be too bothered about losing some extreme rural votes as long as the majority of Labour voters in urban areas get free broadband. And there won’t be any AltNets building networks, so I suspect it would make the situation for badly served areas worse.

    5. RaptorX says:

      @Fastman, I like the way you blame the user for this deficiency lol. You wouldn’t be a paid shill by any chance?

      The others, thankyou for your support, appreciate it. 🙂

  23. anonymous says:

    Ah, the good ole vote bribe bait! Through free broadband and minimum wage in, and that’ll get all their votes; just don’t mention re-joining the EU because the party is still split.

    Labour obviously found another money tree or a way to over tax anyone over 25K per year, citing them as rich.

    Didn’t these clowns nigh on bankrupt the country last time they were in power (and have every time they have come to power) through lack of regulation in financial markets that then caused a worldwide issue because a lot of countries were interlinked in our financial system. Sure, the USA had its own issues at the time too. We were still trying to recover from that. And Labour created the over protective Nanny state and tons more political correctness (admittedly the current government has just carried this on too).

    And no, I am not supporting any other party. Sometimes you pick the best of a bad bunch to get by.

    1. David sobis says:

      More Tory trolls on here .✊✊✊✊ you think boris gives a stuff about you and other Tory voters all there care about is themselves and there rich mates not you your just a sheep that votes them back in .

    2. Mark Jackson says:

      @David. Firstly, please stop swearing on your other posts and being abusive to others.

      Secondly, I think it’s always a huge mistake to debase assumptions about a person’s political persuasions down to how they view a specific issue – politicians keep making that same mistake, and it often costs them.

      For example, some Liberal Democrat voters were in favour of a Soft Brexit (not all are hard Remainers) and, likewise, many in the telecoms and broadband sector who might vote Labour do NOT support the nationalised free full fibre for all policy.

      So please, don’t assume that just because somebody doesn’t support a specific policy, that it means they’re fans of a different party. People are more complex than that, only politicians tend to think of them in a simplified binary way.

    3. Daniel P says:

      You’re right David, this site seems to be full of them.

    4. Mark Jackson says:

      Many of the visitors to this site, myself included, also tore into Boris Johnson’s undeliverable 2019 plan to rollout full fibre to all by the end of 2025, which was later watered down, twice, before it moved closer to reality.

      As I’ve said above, it’s important to separate criticism about the deliverability of a specific policy from assumptions about political support and viewpoints. Real people are much more complex.

    5. Daniel P says:

      You give people too much credit Mark, just look at the last election results. It speaks for itself.

  24. anonymous says:

    David Sorbis – if your comment was directed at me, you are deluded and making assumptions.

    I couldn’t stand Boris as a London Mayor, and still cant stand him.

    Mark said it right, I don’t think any one party represents most people at the moment. For example, some people may be staunch Conservatives but don’t like Boris or agree with the way extra taxation is going to be brought in. Other people may be Labour, but don’t agree with the Corbyn element of it or what they propose in this news story.

    It is just possible, that people for free broadband or against may sit in ANY political party support.

    To me, free broadband sounds good until you analyse in the detail what they would mean. It would likely mean one incumbent provider left, that then dictates when the country gets newer technology, the pricing, the speeds/tiers etc. There would be no competition as no incentive or market operating (like the Altnets are doing now).

  25. Ian Aitken says:

    This makes a lot of sense. I’d love free broadband and it sounds be a right of everyone to own it.

    If you want to pay more you could obtain faster internet, so there’s still a market element.

    But things like this make sense.

    The government can buy whole sale cable, build factories and roll out fiber nationwide

    Like they should have done in the 90’s

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