UK Elections: Labour’s promised free internet

The Labour party has set out ambitious plans to provide free full-fibre broadband to every home and business in the country by 2030, if it wins the election

Jeremy Corbyn says free internet would be possible by bringing BT’s Open Reach broadband business into public ownership, meaning the ongoing cost of the service would be partly funded by a new tax on technology companies, such as Facebook and Google.

Boris Johnson has dismissed the proposal as a “crazed Communist scheme”.

Free internet to every home and business in the country by 2030, , if Labour’s wins the election

Labour’s proposed overhaul of the telecoms infrastructure, an addition to its already broad nationalization plan, would be paid for by raising taxes on tech firms such as Alphabet’s Google, Amazon and Facebook and using its Green Transformation fund.

Labour plans to nationalize Openreach – the fixed-line network arm of the country’s biggest broadband and mobile phone provider – as well as parts of BT Technology, BT Enterprise and BT Consumer to create a “British Broadband” public service.

“A Labour government will make broadband free for everybody,” Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said in a speech. “This is core infrastructure for the 21st century. I think it’s too important to be left to the corporations.”

“We’ll tax the giant corporations fairly – the Facebooks and the Googles – to cover the running costs,” said Corbyn, adding the public had been forced to pay far too much for “rip-off broadband” and the party would transform the British economy.

Johnson derided Corbyn’s plan, saying it would undermine the world’s fifth largest economy and cost taxpayers dearly. He has promised to roll out full-fiber broadband to all homes by 2025.

TalkTalk said on Friday a deal to sell its FibreNation business had stalled after Labour’s announcement.

Britain’s opposition Labour Party’s plans to nationalize parts of telecoms provider BT’s network and provide free full fiber broadband in UK may cost more than 100 billion pounds ($127 billion), BT chief executive said.


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