Labour sets out mission to connect communities across Britain by delivering free full fibre broadband for all
In a major announcement tomorrow (Friday 15 November), Labour will set out plans to deliver free full fibre broadband for all by bringing parts of BT into public ownership and creating a new British Broadband public service. In Montgomeryshire, (24767 households and businesses (80.4 per cent of all premises) will get a stronger, more reliable internet connection.
The Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn will make the announcement in Lancaster, describing the new free public service as central to Labour’s plans to transform our country and economy, “bringing communities together in an inclusive and connected society”.
The next Labour government will undertake a massive upgrade in the UK’s internet infrastructure, delivering fast, secure, reliable internet connections for everyone and putting an end to patchy and slow coverage. This will boost 5G connectivity across the country.
The roll out will begin with communities that have the worst broadband access, including rural and remote communities and some inner city areas, followed by towns and smaller centres, and then by areas that are currently well-served by superfast or ultrafast broadband.
The plan will be paid for through Labour’s Green Transformation fund and taxing multinational corporations such as Amazon, Facebook and Google, and save the average person £30.30 a month.
Only between 8-10 per cent of premises in the UK are connected to full-fibre broadband, compared to 97 per cent in Japan and 98 per cent in South Korea. Almost 80% of adults surveyed said that they have experienced internet reliability problems in the last year.
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, with an estimated 270,000 people more able to move to rural areas.
The party’s plans could result in 300 million fewer commuting trips, three billion fewer kilometres travelled by car, and 360,000 tonnes fewer carbon dioxide emissions.
The party will also announce plans for a new Charter of Digital Rights – the strongest protection of data and online rights ever enacted. We will consult on its contents, which could include:
- Powers for individuals and collectives to challenge algorithmic injustice (where online algorithms cause disproportionate harms to particular groups);
- Powers for individuals and collectives to prevent the use of digital infrastructure for surveillance;
- Rights for individuals to protect access to and ownership of their data.