IN a major announcement on Friday (Nov, 15), Labour set out plans to deliver free full fibre broadband for all.
They plan to bring parts of BT into public ownership to create a new broadband public service, paid for in part by taxing big tech companies. According to the party’s calculations, this would provide a stronger, more reliable internet connection for 99% of households and businesses in Llanelli.
Nia Griffith, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for the Llanelli constituency, explained: “It is shocking that only 8-10 percent of UK premises are connected to full-fibre broadband. It is far higher in other countries, so it is right that Labour is promising a massive upgrade to our internet infrastructure.
“Rural areas have been left behind by the Conservatives’ obsession with getting the private sector to deliver everything. Whilst the Welsh Government has been doing what it can to get the private companies to deliver, it’s clear that broadband should be in public hands and a UK Labour Government would be able to go much further. We would make it a priority to deliver free full fibre broadband for everyone, and bring an end to slow and difficult unreliable internet coverage. The rollout will start with the worst connected areas, including rural and remote areas, and then target our towns.
“This plan would also save the average person £30.30 a month. Like all of Labour’s spending commitments, it is fully costed and will be paid for through our Green Transformation fund and taxes on big tech giants such as Amazon, Facebook, and Google.”
According to research by the Centre for Economics and Business Research, a full-fibre broadband network could boost productivity by £59 billion by 2025, bring half a million people back into the workforce and boost rural economies. It could also result in 300 million fewer commuting trips, three billion fewer kilometers traveled by car, and 360,000 tonnes fewer carbon dioxide emissions.
John McDonnell, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, said: “This is public ownership for the future.
“A plan that will challenge rip-off ‘out-of-contract’ pricing – and that will literally eliminate bills for millions of people across the UK. Every part of this plan has been legally vetted, checked with experts, and costed.
“What we are offering in this election is real change. And what we’ve announced today is what real change looks and feels like.”