Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party have pledged universal, free broadband and a nationwide fibre buildout by 2030 if elected; they plan to renationalise parts of BT and tax Big Tech to pay for the fibre rollout.
BT under private ownership has been a catastrophe, especially the privatised, spun-out installation business Openreach, whose bureaucratic incompetence, arrogance, hostility and sheer, pig-headed idiocy make them seem like something out of a poorest-quality farce comedy. Labour proposes to re-nationalise this embarrassment of a company and make it pull its fucking socks up for literally the first time since it was privatised.
Boris Johnson's Conservatives have pledged a £5b fibre rollout; Labour has priced the rollout at a much more realistic £30b (BT estimates the cost at £40b, but they also estimated my broadband speed at 20mbps and rarely delivered 5).
I am a member of the Labour Party and a proud donor to Jeremy Corbyn's campaign.
The plan includes nationalising parts of BT – namely its digital network arm Openreach – to create a UK-wide network owned by the government.
"We're putting the money in and therefore we should own the benefit as well," said the shadow chancellor.
He said the roll-out would begin with communities that have the worst broadband access, followed by towns and smaller centres, and then by areas that are currently well served.
A Labour government would compensate shareholders by issuing government bonds. He said Labour had taken legal advice, including ensuring pension funds with investments in BT are not left out of pocket.