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Sounds good, doesn't work: Labour’s free broadband promise not feasible

Christian Fernsby |
Shares in BT dropped and TalkTalk put the sale of one of its businesses on hold after the Labour Party announced plans to turn broadband into a public service.

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Labour has costed the policy at £20 billion, saying it will deliver free full-fibre internet to every home and business by 2030 if it wins the General Election.

But BT chief executive Philip Jansen said the Labour Party had dramatically under-estimated the price of its pledge, saying it would cost closer to £100 billion.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, he said: “You’ve got a big capital investment, say £30 to £40 billion, if you’re giving it away free, for example, that’s probably another £5 billion a year of revenue that Open Reach currently gets in from its customers.

“So, you’ve got that big investment to make and I guess, from my perspective, what’s really important to me is my employees, our colleagues at BT at Open Reach, our shareholders and our pensioners.

“Remember, the BT group has over 100,000 people working every single day."

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