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Labour Party Pledge to Protect £5bn UK Gigabit Broadband Project

Wednesday, Nov 29th, 2023 (12:01 am) - Score 2,120
labour political party uk

Chris Bryant, the UK Labour Party’s Shadow Minister for the Creative Industries & Digital, has perhaps unsurprisingly indicated that – should the party be elected at the next General Election – they would honour the Government’s existing £5bn Project Gigabit broadband roll-out programme. But some market intervention may occur.

The project aims to extend networks capable of delivering download speeds of at least 1000Mbps (1Gbps) and uploads of at least 200Mbps to 85% or more of UK premises by the end of 2025, before rising to “nationwide” coverage (c.99%) by around 2030 (here). Most of this network coverage is actually coming from competitive commercial builds, while Project Gigabit is more focused on the final 15-20% of commercially unviable premises.

NOTE: Some 79% of premises across the UK can already access a gigabit-capable broadband network. Ofcom recently predicted that this would rise to around 87-91% by May 2025 and 90-94% by May 2026 (here).

However, Project Gigabit is now a couple of years into its programme and has so far only awarded subsidy contracts for some of its major procurements, with many more expected to follow in 2024. At this rate it might take until 2025 before we even reach this stage in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Suffice to say, it could be moving a bit faster.

One other potential risk for the project has been the looming General Election, since any changing of the guard has a tendency to result in delays as existing programmes may face review. In that respect the opposition Labour Party are currently still polling well ahead of the Government, thus their perspective and approach to this area of policy is particularly relevant.

The latest news is that Labour’s Chris Bryant, while being admittedly sceptical of Project Gigabit’s performance (i.e. slowness in awarding contracts and delays in the voucher scheme), has indicated via Telco Titans that he would seek to honour Project Gigabit’s plans and existing budget – “We’re conscious that £5bn was set aside for it, and that policy hasn’t changed,” said the MP.

The Minister also said he “100%” supports competition in the field of fibre infrastructure, which confirms a move away from the somewhat divisive and nationalisation focused “free full-fibre broadband to all by 2030” pledge of 2019 (here). But there was also some talk about working with Ofcom to impose a degree of standardisation and order in the market, particularly around the issue of whether or not overbuild between networks is the only way to ensure good competition (Bryant thinks Ofcom “could do a bit more in this space around cooperation”).

Chris Bryant said:

“You don’t want government interfering too much. On the whole, competition is good for growing and enabling innovation and development, but just sometimes you do have to step into the market and say ‘actually, this could help everybody’.”

Naturally it can be difficult to read between the lines of what politicians mean, particularly while Labour admits that its own broadband policy for the next general election is still somewhat of a “work in progress“. But we suspect that what Bryant may be talking about is encouraging more infrastructure sharing and / or co-operative build, which is an area that would have to be worded very carefully to avoid causing unintended damage to competition.

A word on infrastructure sharing

A fair bit of infrastructure sharing does already take place today, most notably via Openreach’s existing cable ducts and poles (regulated), as well as through some separate commercial agreements between operators and utility firms (fibre via the sewers and electricity poles etc.). But this isn’t viable in every location and there are a lot of sensitives and safety considerations involved, depending upon precisely what you’re looking at doing and where.

Ofcom has previously investigated the possibility of deploying full fibre networks across combinations of different non-telecoms infrastructure, but the regulator found that the duplication of engineering efforts and maintenance costs could be unattractive.

As for the idea of getting network operators to work together co-operatively on builds, it’s sometimes akin to herding cats – due to the difficulty of balancing competitive interests between so many rivals in the same space (doesn’t work well without regulation, but making the regulation fair is tricky). On top of that, there can be technical differences between networks and operators tend to consider detailed knowledge of their existing or future infrastructure to be commercially sensitive (confidential).

Not to mention the issue of whether such sharing would actually produce the sort of national benefits desired, particularly since it could take a few years to realise (in terms of legislation/regulation changes) and by then much of the roll-out will have already been completed. Despite all of this, the potential advantages, such as from reducing street works, build costs and improving coverage at a more rapid pace, cannot be ignored.

On the other hand, much of this has been explored before (here), albeit without much change (here). The last consultation on updating the Access to Infrastructure (ATI) Regulations 2016 to support more infrastructure sharing saw some broadband operators raising concerns about the risk of “unintended consequences”, such as if changes to the ATI ended up undermining the investment cases in new networks.

Likewise, some alternative networks expressed “limited interest in using non-Openreach or non-telecoms infrastructure,” due to a general preference for telecoms infrastructure, as well as the “availability of a more stringent regulated product on a near ubiquitous nationwide network.” Suffice to say, Labour may find this one to be as difficult to navigate as the Government has already experienced.

Further thoughts

One other question that arises is whether or not Labour will take any action with respect to telecoms poles. Some of the party’s MPs have been strong supporters of those who would rather see new cables being put underground than overhead via poles, despite the negative impact that could have on network coverage and build costs. But once again, this could be why Bryant is hinting at a more co-operative approach to build.

At present the only broadband related policy that the current Labour Party has actually set out in any detail relates to social tariffs and mid-contract price rises, which is something they unveiled last year. The original press release seems to have vanished from their website (it used to be here), but this is what they promised in October 2022.

Labour is calling for:

1) A reversal of changes the government made in 2019 which allowed regulated wholesale prices to rise with CPI rather than costs, so that telecoms wholesalers and internet service providers don’t get a windfall from sky high inflation whilst families and firms struggle to pay their bills.

2) Ofcom to investigate and take action to strengthen consumer protections including taking action on mid contract price rises, early termination costs for social tariff customers, and loyalty penalties where long term customers pay more than new customers.

3) An industry wide social tariff for low-income families. Industry including wholesalers like Openreach, must work with Ofcom and consumer groups to develop a mandatory well-advertised broadband social tariff for low-income families, or the Party will set and legislate for one in government.

We’ve already covered those proposals before in more detail (here), although it’s worth noting that there are now a lot of cheap social broadband tariffs available (here) and Ofcom are about to conclude a key review into the issue of mid-c0ntract price hikes (here) – hopefully the latter will deliver some serious change.

At the end of the day we’ll have to wait for the Manifestos at the next General Election before being able to see what Labour, as well as the other parties, may be planning to offer. We’d only ask any readers who may choose to comment below to kindly avoid the usual level of toxic and abusive political commentary that sadly sometimes flows from such debates.

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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 X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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57 Responses
  1. Avatar photo Professionally curious says:

    I concur that there needs to be an unequivocal policy on banning in-contract price rises by CPI/RPI + 4%+. The next government needs to work with Ofcom to curb the loyalty penalty fees and to limit or abolish the practice of entering a new contract term when moving home that some ISPs still enforce. I agree with their previous points on Social Tariffs as well. My understanding is that Vodafone, for instance, does not charge early contract termination fees, and the social tariff ( Vodafone Broadband Essentials 1 & 2 )lasts for 12 months. After that, one can reapply to avoid paying out-of-contract charges. The ONS CPI +3.9% is also not applicable to Vodafone Broadband Essentials plans.

    1. Avatar photo bob says:

      @Professionally curious, I agree with regards in contract price increases. But I don’t see any major issue with starting a new minimum term when moving house. The provider will incur costs, activation fees for the new address, cease fees for the old address, potentially new CPE especially if the new service is FTTP and the old address was DSL of one form or another. Just imagine how much that must cost if someone is moving between rented accommodation every six months or so? It seems fair to commit to a minimum term at the new address so the provider has an opportunity to recover the costs.

      On the whole broadband in the UK is relatively low cost and low margin, I imagine if providers are forced to take a hit when a customer moves then they will need to look at an alternative way of covering the cost and charge moving fees or more per month for rental.

    2. Avatar photo NE555 says:

      When you say “concur”, you’re not actually agreeing with what the Labour party said, which was:

      “A reversal of changes the government made in 2019 which allowed **regulated wholesale prices** to rise with CPI rather than costs”

      That is, it’s about *Openreach*’s wholesale charges to ISPs (regulated by Ofcom) rising in line with CPI every year. That’s nothing to do with the retail side of things.

      To claim that Openreach gets a “windfall” from high inflation is pretty laughable though. A large part of Openreach’s cost base is its workforce: would the Labour party prefer that wages for Openreach employees didn’t rise in line with Inflation??

  2. Avatar photo Simon says:

    Never trust Labour Party

    1. Avatar photo Thirteen years of chaos and decline… says:

      What has trusting the Tories gotten us?…

    2. Avatar photo I apologise! says:

      Never trust Labour Party? Have you been living under a rock for the past 13 years? The Tories have literally destroyed the country! How on Earth anyone can defend these clowns is beyond me, and that’s coming from someone who has always voted Tory of which I deeply apologise!

    3. Avatar photo P says:

      I apologise! – Literally its been destroyed.. ??
      Have I missed something … the village and towns around me are still here… as are the people.

    4. Avatar photo Anonymous says:

      People seam to forget that not liking X isn’t the same as automatically liking Y. It should be pretty obvious but people lose their heads when it comes to politics.

    5. Avatar photo john says:

      Never trust any political party. They all betray you in the end.

    6. Avatar photo Keir Hardies champagne delivery butler says:

      They’re both as bad as each other.
      But Labours track record on broadband is … non existent.
      But if we’re going to devolve into reddit-tier arguments about muh political party then all I can say is I lived the first part of my life under Blair and Brown. They ruined the country, and Brown sold all our gold for a low price and watched the price skyrocket. Then they forced us to accept treaties which we had already voted no for. So I don’t trust either political party. Yeah the tories suck. But it’s not like labour are all knights in shining armour just standing by waiting to fix everything.

      Mark my words: Labour will NOT fix any problem the UK has. Except if anyone thinks there aren’t enough immigrants and enough free benefits being thrown around, maybe they’ll fix that.

    7. Avatar photo Mike says:

      It’s like most people have a switch in their brain which can only fathom supporting one of the top two parties, it never occurring to them that maybe both are just as bad…

    8. Avatar photo Patrick says:

      Ah yes the labour party that *checks notes* has agreed on EVERY bad tory policy

      Lockdown – They complained that lockdowns weren’t hard enough, then complained when Bojo lifted the lockdown. Under labour there’s a chance we would still be in lockdown

      Tax – They complained when Liz Truss wanted to cut taxes. Theres a political open goal for people that are tired of the record taxation. Labour is not taking it. They wont cut any taxes, if anything they will raise new ones including for people not even in the country

      Censorship – They are in favor of the online bill

      Spending – another open goal. LAbour instead only pledges more spending

      Far left gender ideology – Starmer hates women’s rights

      Netzero – labour agrees with the tories on netzero

      NHS – Wales NHS under labour is far worse than the rest of the country

      Crime – labour cities have MORE crime than the rest of the country. Stabbings literally multiplied after dictator Khan came into power

    9. Avatar photo anon says:

      nottingham city council declared itself bankrupt today (I’m sure the big wigs are still getting their 6 figure salary). On places like twitter, people are screaming tories did it. Tory mismanagement etc. Nottingham city council has been labour run since 1980s. When that fact is pointed out to the internet mobs who scream evil tories multiple times per day, their response changes to ah well , it’s still the tories fault for underfunding them, not mismanagement by a labour council no not ever. It’s hilarious to me who doesn’t care for either party that labour fans seem oblivious to the fact that the labour party would have implemented every policy that the tories get the heat for. All of them. But back to the specific ISP related matter, the labour government never gave a damn about broadband except to try to claim it should be free for benefits people (and while not free it is currently cheaper for many). It’s no surprise they’re going to continue a policy many people want.

  3. Avatar photo JP says:

    Isn’t that our choice as a democratic society… Lol.

    1. Avatar photo XGS says:

      Isn’t what our choice, JP?

  4. Avatar photo What did he actually say says:

    I was at the INCA conference that Bryant attended and keynoted. At the event he stated that he had concerns about Project Gigabit and that the social tariff didn’t go far enough. An attendee also stated to him the clear difference between what the government is asking the Telco sector to do, Vs Energy. I
    E. Telco sector has to fund the social tariff, which investors at the event also had issue with. Even if the £5bn isn’t tampered with, and that’s a big ‘if’, a labour government will still likely cause massive concerns for investors funding most of the Altnets.

    1. Avatar photo Big Dave says:

      I think if I was an investor in an altnet, concerns about what the next government may or may not do would be well down my list of worries.

    2. Avatar photo john says:

      My understanding is that in the energy industry social tariffs are paid through standing charges. How is that different to telcos? Like energy the telcos will just increase prices to cover it, they are very good at increasing prices!

  5. Avatar photo John says:

    Of course the labour party will never stop spending… they believe the money printer is infinite and that they can keep making up new BS taxes

    Bring in the british Javier Milei or soon we will be under hyperinflation and paying insane taxes

    1. Avatar photo XGS says:

      Massively simplistic.

      Most of the increase in taxes, falling largely on the working age population, is to fund allowing an ageing population to avoid having to pay more towards their health and social care.

      Discretionary spending and investment are planned for further cuts. Much of it extremely unwise. There’s not a lot of room to cut more after the past 13 years.

      I can’t see anyone getting elected on the policy of making retirees pay more towards their health and social care: it nearly got us Jeremy Corbyn in 2017.

      What’s your solution beyond lying to the electorate about the facts to win an election and getting binned after 5 years in favour of opportunists and populists telling people what they want to hear?

      I can’t see a couple of generations that’ll be net recipients from the taxpayer across their lifetimes suddenly deciding they’re fine with losing some of that to reduce the tax burden on others.

      We could do with shifting a huge whack of taxation from earnings to wealth to reflect the changed composition of the economy. Think that’ll be a vote-winner among those whose taxes would rise?

    2. Avatar photo Mike says:

      The UK needs to experience hyperinflation before it can have a Milei.

    3. Avatar photo Patrick says:

      The solution cannot be theft

      Communist wealth taxes have failed EVERY TIME they were tried. Even Norway with a privileged tax system and no EU attempted and royally failed. South Africa even went racist about it and it caused the biggest capital flight in history. China is having tons of billionaires escape the country because the state wants to steal their assets. It turns out that people do not want to support a regime that arbitrarily robs them, so they protect their property

      The only solution is AFUERA. Do away with all these massive state overreaches and bloated spending like the NHS spending millions on “diversity officer” wages

    4. Avatar photo XGS says:

      Norway had wealth taxes for over a century, Patrick. It went pear-shaped when it was changed earlier this year.

      Nothing any more communist about wealth taxes than income taxes. Either way capital needs to be taxed more and income less to preserve an appropriate balance. It’s far too skewed.

      Want to try and get elected with the policies you advocate? Tell millions of boomers to go get private health insurance and pay for their own social care as they age? Tell millions of the poor their health care is gone?

      How are you planning on raising any revenue at all with the population increasingly more sick and more and more economically inactive? Privatising the armed forces, police, fire and ambulance?

      Business won’t invest in a nation with crumbling infrastructure. Business won’t directly fund infrastructure. Business won’t directly fund the housing requirements of the nation. Your position is extreme and unworkable in the UK. I’m not a fan of our nanny state however an abrupt jolt to the opposite would be impossible.

  6. Avatar photo In theory, communism works says:

    Just give everyone free broadband!
    and free cash!
    and a free house!
    and a free passport.

    1. Avatar photo XGS says:

      Yeah hard pass however your post emphasises the need for increased investment in education for sure.

      We’ve been throwing free cash at a bunch of people since the late 70s under the guise of more right-wing policies and it’s messed us up royally.

    2. Avatar photo Mike says:

      I thought throwing money at people was a left-wing policy? Or is it only left-wing when it’s convenient for you?

    3. Avatar photo Patrick says:

      Tax payer spending = collectivism = leftist

      Right wing is not when “perceived right wing party that is actually not right wing” spends money

      By definition, a party that has record spending is not right wing

    4. Avatar photo In theory, communism works says:

      XGS, which of those policies did labour not want ?
      since i’m apparently not educated enough, maybe you can spell it out for me. Since as far as I’m aware they do want to give people free broadband, do love giving benefits to people and moaning it’s not enough, and do want immigration. I mean, was Sir Keir not really at the world economic forum talking about immigration and universal basic income or did my uneducated mind hallucinate all of that. Or rather, are you just a bit upset that I took a bit of a tongue-in-cheek approach to summarising labour’s goals. Did I hurt your fee fees?

    5. Avatar photo XGS says:

      I find that the person who starts asking if they’ve hurt someone’s ‘fee-fees’ is usually the snowflake so I’ll not indulge that. Facts don’t care about feelings as a general rule.

      The free broadband plan died a while back and was replaced with commitment to an industry-wide social tariff: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2022/oct/12/labour-pledges-cheap-broadband-tariff-for-low-income-families

      Starmer is ‘not attracted’ to UBI: https://www.cityam.com/what-we-learned-from-keir-starmer-on-ai-boris-johnson-and-nicola-sturgeon/

      Starmer, et al, consider immigration too high and want to take a more protectionist view on the UK labour market. I don’t need to offer a link to that it’s all over the news.

      I’ve no idea if you hallucinated it or not but it’s good to know that the WEF is apparently both some shadowy overlord world government and publishes discussion.

    6. Avatar photo XGS says:

      ‘I thought throwing money at people was a left-wing policy? Or is it only left-wing when it’s convenient for you?’

      I’m pretty sure selling off social housing via right to buy and privatisation of various utility companies was considered right-wing policy. I’ll also mention I said nothing about whether they were right-wing or left-wing merely that they were done under the guise of right-wing policy.

      They were, obviously, both. Take the state out of housing while bribing voters. Take the state out of utilities while bribing voters.

    7. Avatar photo anon says:

      lol xgs argues so well he has to create a narrative to attack. only problem is nobody said the things he’s arguing against. Did anyone mention a conspiracy against the WEF? nope. But you thought it relevant. Then again, seems you’re throwing everything including the kitchen sink at any opinions you don’t like.

      Sir Keith = pro immigrant. Fact.

      Broadband they did want to give for free. The fact that its changed to “social tariffs” has nothing to do with labour. Are labour running the country? are they in power? no. The social tariffs were an invention of the tories. lol that you think it was labour now and that the plans for free broadband never existed. Because you say so.


      lol. Go back to reddit / X. Mr look at me i’ve got 10Gbit.


  7. Avatar photo Billy says:

    Mark Jackson why do you do political articles like this, you knew the extreme/crazy people would comment on it.

    1. Mark-Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      You’re on a site called ISPreview, which is dedicated toward charting the many different facets of UK mobile, broadband, phone, internet and telecoms provision. Part of that unavoidably involves talking about government and opposition policies / legislation / regulation, which carries significant relevance and interest. If you want placid coverage, then I suggest only ever visiting commercial price comparison sites, where the only news is about new deals and surveys.

    2. Avatar photo Billy says:

      @Mark Jackson so people arguing about he or she being left or right wing is the result of your article and you’re happy with that. Next thing you be reporting on is what Hamas think about our broadband services and we can have the fallout from that.

    3. Avatar photo John says:

      Talking about politics is not crazy unless you live in an echo chamber and are too stubborn to accept different viewpoints. XGS made a post disagreeing with what I said and while he is wrong, he is 100% entitled to hold and share his opinion

      In real life even the wackiest clashes can be cordial, just look at “I am a Celebrity” on ITV where lefty gen Z Nella and the French Fred disagree with Nigel Farage on Brexit, yet remain civil and cordial (unfortunately same couldn’t be said when Nella got absolutely mad at Nigel when he made the correct claim that there are no clear rules for “culture appropriation”)

      It is very important to discuss topics such as these so it is very childish to attempt to bully Mark because you believe in authoritarian censorship

    4. Avatar photo Billy says:

      @John No chance of anyone trying to bully Mark, was that your cordial way of trying to shut me up for raising this point because you like a good rant and disagreement with others.

    5. Mark-Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      It’s not a result of the article and to suggest that is ridiculous, it’s a result of each individual’s choice about how they choose to communicate with others. Sadly, not everybody is good at polite and constructive communication or criticism, although I wish they were.

      I don’t particularly like the sort of comments you reference either and will shortly be clearing some of them up. But the moment we self-censor by choosing not to write relevant articles for fear of what some people might say, is the moment we lose our freedom and become more like Iran and China.

      Freedom also includes the right to say things which, though lawful, others may find disturbing, upsetting or offensive. But where this crosses into harassment or hate speech, then that’s a different ball game.

      The mention of Hamas is absurd though.

    6. Avatar photo Sir Cuthbert Ware-Armitage says:

      The crazy people being those who don’t share your opinions?
      Perhaps if you’d like a safe space where everyone agrees with you, and you can say bad things about tories and giggle amongst yourselves, you might be better of at reddit ? I hear they’re even being paid to write negative comments about them. Think of that! you could get paid for ranting about things you don’t like.

    7. Avatar photo John says:

      No one is being harassed. “Hate speech” is just deemed as such by those who hate speech, to censor speech they hate. It is nothing but a cudgel to silence logic and facts in order to protect castrations, mass migration and people criticizing support for Hamas in their own neighborhoods (or even children stabbings like in Ireland last weekend, the prime minister will even pass a law to ban memes in response to the public noticing what is going on)

      You own the website but you can choose to keep the dialogue free and delete offenses, just like X, or you can moderate according to feelings, exactly how Facebook has done with Threads and why barely anyone uses. Me and many people will vote for the former, the illiberal authoritarians will want to maintain their echo chambers so will vote for censorship

    8. Avatar photo Billy says:

      @John you seem to have no problem being a hero keyboard warrior but face to face you would be a totally different person I can guarantee.

    9. Mark-Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      @John. “No one is being harassed” – that’s because you probably missed some of the comments that did in fact stray into that area quite strongly, because I quickly removed them. But as I always say, if you don’t like the way I try – imperfectly (only human – not a 24/7 robot) – to keep comments as clear of personal abuse, trolling and actual hate speech (racism etc.) as I can then by all means, leave and don’t come back. But you keep coming back 🙂 . You love it.

    10. Avatar photo John says:

      I did not say I didn’t like, I said if you veered towards mass censorship of opinions then people will just not post

      The media is portray the protest sign Irish Lives Matter as racist precisely because the demand far exceeds supply

    11. Avatar photo XGS says:

      ‘XGS made a post disagreeing with what I said and while he is wrong’

      What was I wrong about, John? Much of the increase is exactly what I said it was. I missed out debt interest of course. There’s no room for cuts in discretionary spending due to having to protect those.

      We as a nation are getting poorer. We started down the road in 2008, began to recover in 2009 and were brought to a screaming halt and then started down the road again in 2010. The numbers are pretty clear on this.

    12. Avatar photo John says:

      You’re right in saying people are poorer but are dead wrong when saying taxes should go up rather than down, in a time with record high taxes

      People are poorer precisely because of insane taxes and inflation at the same time

  8. Avatar photo anon4575839 says:

    Billy, everything is political these days.

    You are just projecting your dissatisfaction with the world, sir.

  9. Avatar photo anon4575839 says:

    Project Gigabit is still in the procurement stage where I live (lot 24). Plus ca change.

    The government has eeked out the funding, so it has taken forever.

    No sense in Labour abandoning it now, I guess. But for Christ’s sake please allocate funds and get on with it.

    1. Avatar photo Sydney Ross says:

      Time the government pulled the plug on this project, billions of pounds of tax payers money being misspent.

    2. Avatar photo anon4575839 says:

      How can that be, when the most of the money is still to be allocated to contracts?

      A government was elected to do projects in cheaply, that’s what we got. You get out what you put in.

      Like HS2.

  10. Avatar photo Labour Council Go Bankrupt says:

    Nottingham Labour Council go bankrupt today, they want you to believe this has been caused by the Tories, the truth is the continued mis-management of the council has been exposed by inflation. If you want the same for the next government of the UK vote labour next year.

    1. Avatar photo Big Dave says:

      Apparently they had enough money to buy electric bin lorries that they then couldn’t charge so collections were missed.

    2. Avatar photo Winston Smith says:

      There are currently seven bankrupt councils, 3 Labour controlled, 3 Conservative controlled and one Liberal-Democrat.

    3. Avatar photo XGS says:

      I’m sure it’s not entirely due to national government however councils losing about half of their real-terms spending power between 2010 and 2021 due to reductions in block grants probably didn’t help.

      You clearly aren’t aware of this but about 80% of all council spending in many local authorities as of 2020 was going on social care and children’s services with legal obligations in most cases to protect this spending. Up from just over 50% in 2010. They needed to branch out to raise revenue and some of them messed it up.

      Still, why complicate with facts and nuance when it can be partisan, mind-numbingly simple and banal?

  11. Avatar photo anon686575 says:

    The country can afford to spend 5 Billion pounds over 5 years, on a programme to provide the vast majority with a reliable and fast internet connection. There was virtually no one debating that back in 2019. Nor was there really any debate about the wider economic benefits this would provide to the UK.

    But if the money is never allocated to contracts in the majority of UK regions by the time of the next general election, then essentially it was all just just talk from Boris Johnson. That’s what many of you voted for.

    Does it make sense to criticise Labour, for saying they will finish what the Conservatives started, with the remaining funds available?

    1. Avatar photo Testy McTestface says:

      Define “vast majority”. I guarantee you it’s not going to be 99%+ as per the sales pitch.

      More like 75%+. A large number are going to miss out, because BTOR _and_ altnets aren’t interested. £5 billion isn’t going to plug the gaps, estimates are we’d need many times that amount.

  12. Avatar photo Testy McTestface says:

    Project Gigabit isn’t even going to consider us until 2030. Because our town’s rollout is now “done” and we were skipped. This can affect up to 20% of properties.

    You know what – I doubt we’ll even have the money to do those last 20%. Whatever govt is in charge, we don’t seem to be able to afford anything, these days. Certainly not infrastructure.

    If BTOR consider us non-viable, we’re non-viable, and that’s that. Heck, I wonder if we’ll have electricity for much longer, with how well the country is going (down the pan).

  13. Avatar photo anon686575 says:

    It’s this project or nothing, that’s the way I look at it.

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