back to article Labour: Free British broadband for country if we win general election

Labour will today pledge to give the good folk of Britain free broadband by 2030 by part-nationalising BT - if the political party gets elected. Under the move, Labour has said it will integrate the broadband-relevant parts of the London-listed company into a new public entity, British Broadband. That includes its broadband …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Everything will be FREE!!

    I live on the edge of a large conurbation in the South East. Our so-called FTTC broadband is currently 8Mbps down and 0.75Mbps up. Openreach said it would cost us £15000 to have a fibre laid to a new cabinet in the street (our current FTTC cabinet is inside the exchange which is over a mile away). They said our neighbours could clump together to pay for this. We would still need to subscribe to an ISP to delilver the service. In the end it's worked out cheaper/faster to use a 4G service with a router providing 30Mbps down/up.....still not massive but better. And we're not even in the countryside.

    1. macjules Silver badge

      Re: Everything will be FREE!!

      I stopped complaining to BT about their speeds a year ago. I simply switched to Virgin which has not got very good customer services but does provide a 350Mbps line in an area of London where BT could/would only provide a maximum 3Mbps. They continue to maintain that it is not worth it to them to fibre-enable that particular exchange (W14 Blythe) as the 4 adjoining/overlapping enabled exchanges cover most of the area ... except, Kensington Olympia and much of its surrounding area, including several large hotels.

      I really doubt they would even notice that they had been re-nationalised back into the "GPO", or whatever Labour want to call it. I would suggest that Labour also nationalises Vodafone, so that the GPO can learn how to build a particularly unpleasant customer "support" team.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Everything will be FREE!!

        Most people can’t just simply switch to anyone. There is no real competition. Most ISPs operate over OpenReach as well. Nationalising the underlying network makes sense. A national grid for the internet. Nationalising any over the top parts, I.e the ISPs does not.

        1. Wicked Witch

          Re: Everything will be FREE!!

          That depends if you're talking about a raw bit-pipe or a "full-service" ISP. If all the ISP is doing is providing a fat pipe, mainly to overseas peering points and local server farms, then there's no point to competing on whether a prettier bill is worth a price premium. If the market is efficient, then everyone will end up paying pretty much the same price as the network provider charges, especially if either advertising rules or network standards rule out competing on how much they're lying about contention ratios.If you can shop around and get a better deal, then either you're exceedingly lucky or the market is inefficient (electricity is a good example of that).

          If we're still talking about traditional ISPs with email, miscellaneous mirrors, and other services, then the national network provider should allow retailers to add features, but they should also allow customers to buy access directly at the same price.

    2. steelpillow Silver badge

      Re: Everything will be FREE!!

      Yep, 4G router works like a charm. Sod fibre, too many cooks.

      And sod Corbyn too, promise everything tomorrow but never, ever make a decision on anything today.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @steelpillow and ImAlrightJack

        BT used to be owned by everyone who paid taxes, then the torys gave it away to their friends who continued to raid the taxpayer for years and degraded the service whilst charging more for less.

        That everyone now pays more tax because the services they privatised everyone still had to use and none of the money returned to the tax payer as it did before they gave it way to the other ImAlrightJacks.

        Personally I would take back everything the Torys stole off me and the others who not be conned into believing it was anything other than national theft

        1. boltar Silver badge

          Re: @steelpillow and ImAlrightJack

          "BT used to be owned by everyone who paid taxes, then the torys gave it away to their friends who continued to raid the taxpayer for years and degraded the service whilst charging more for less."

          It wasn't given away , it was sold and the money given to the treasury to use alongside taxation income. Whether they spent is wisely or not is another matter.

          Many things should remain public where competition makes no sense, eg trains, NHS, however telecoms isn't one of those. The more competition in the telecoms sector the better for everyone.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @steelpillow and ImAlrightJack

            It only makes sense for the providers, not the infrastructure. If fibre is layed to a house by 1 provider, there is very little insentive for another provider to do the same due to cost. So the competition you talk of did not exist.

            It is currently done with power and gas, do you think there would be more competition if each power and gas company has to install their own power lines and gas pipes?

            If the government were able to get fibre installed to every home, guaranteed, that would provide the best competition available. But it would need to be point to point, none of this gpon shite. With access to cabinets if wanted by each company so that they can provide the tech they want to deliver. Along with basic provioning (1gb ports, dwdm for back haul expansion) so that providers can use what the gov put in instead and they just provide peering.

            But of course its going to cost. And well will they be able to do it.

            1. SERIOUS CALLERS ONLY

              Re: @steelpillow and ImAlrightJack

              So hang on a second, this GPON shite you mentioned - not heard of this before but from what i've just read it's actually a fibre connection that is spliced and shared between users.

              How many times have we heard of "fibre broadband" not acutally ended up being actual point to point fibre. are we in for the same thing yet again with this next roll out? surely this should be point to point fibre?

              1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

                Re: @steelpillow and ImAlrightJack

                this GPON shite you mentioned - not heard of this before but from what i've just read it's actually a fibre connection that is spliced and shared between users.

                That's the standard way to provide fibre broadband, everywhere. Point to point would be impractical in terms of cost and cable size. Even copper broadband and phone is only p2p as far as the exchange, after that it's all multiplexed together in one cable or fibre.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: @steelpillow and ImAlrightJack

                  It's not the standard way to provide everywhere. It's the cheaper single provider way. Also there is a big difference between a multiplexed up link, time division multiplexed up link and a switched up link. A couple of them have far more bandwidth available.

                  Point to point fttp can go back to the cabinet, be switches there, with enough bandwidth back to the exchange. Yes it means it's more expensive, requiring large cabinets, but means far more bandwidth is available. You are not sharing 2gb/s with 64 homes, with only 35mbit/s down and 16mbit/s up guaranteed (backhaul dependent), as you get with GPON.

                  Depending upon the density of the population in the area also means everything may just go back to the exchange/POP. Example of this is rural areas and B4RN. 1Gbit/s P2P, with 2 x 40Gbit/s uplinks per POP, which can be easily increased with DWDM if needed.

                  High fibre count cable sizes are not like copper, 1024 fibre trunk direct burial in around 20mm in diameter. With ducting fibre being thinner. The fibre count doesn't increase size much, its the sleaving and protection that takes up the space, so a slight increase in dimension increases the space available for the actual fibre dramatically.

                  But larger fibre counts do present problems with fix times when damaged.

            2. Tom Paine Silver badge

              Re: @steelpillow and ImAlrightJack

              It only makes sense for the providers, not the infrastructure. [Continues at some length]

              Yes. That is why OpenReach exists, with their regulatory requirement to provide non-discriminatory access to all the consumer service providers.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: @steelpillow and ImAlrightJack

                And why most of the country doesn't have fibre to the home.

              2. MrReynolds2U

                Re: @steelpillow and ImAlrightJack

                "non-discriminatory access" ... just, lol

                Or maybe they're better now but I can remember large numbers of "lost" jobs, extra planning and costs and scheduling problems when work was requested by non-BT subsidiaries.

          2. Peter2 Silver badge

            Re: @steelpillow and ImAlrightJack

            BT used to be owned by everyone who paid taxes, then the torys gave it away to their friends who continued to raid the taxpayer for years and degraded the service

            Degraded the service? No. Just. no. It used to be expensive, and poor in terms of quality. It's improved massively under privatisation.

            Many things should remain public where competition makes no sense, eg trains

            You do realise that the entire railway network in the UK was built by private companies in the 19th century? Competition always makes sense if you want a decent service; competition between companies on service and quality pushed passenger numbers to 1.5 billion journeys a year just before WW1.

            When nationalised, traffic dropped down to ~750 million a year when the railways were in public ownership apparently because nobody wanted to use crowded and filthy trains, and then they closed down parts of the rail network that they didn't think were worthwhile to keep open. Privitsation bought new rolling stock and other improvements, and passenger numbers are now at 1.7 billion journeys a year; bigger than the Victorian network usage.

            I don't use the trains, so would be quite happy to see them privitised again; but i'm fairly sure that this wouldn't go any better than last time.

            1. Jim84

              Re: @steelpillow and ImAlrightJack

              What killed private railways as profitable enterprises was the advent of the diesel truck and better roads.

              In the early days the government had to force railways to take paying customers as they wanted to focus on freight. The government nationalized the railways to keep some form of commuter service going.

              Incidentally it wasn't railways that killed canals. Canals were used alongside railways up until the diesel truck. Railways have stuck around because they are the only (partial) solution to moving loads of people around in congested cities.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                @JIm84

                Hey Jim - the railways were nationalized in 1948; I don't htink diesel trucks were common then. Rather, the railways were utterly worn out after WW2 and needed massive replacement of equipment.

                What you might be thinking of is the late 50s loss of traffic that made many lines uneconomic to operate.

                1. yakitoo

                  Re: @JIm84

                  "the railways were utterly worn out after WW2 and needed massive replacement of equipment."

                  Which the the owners were unwilling or unable to do, so the public purse picked up the bill.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: @JIm84

                    No it didn't. The nationalisation was to avoid compensating the owners for war damage. After nationalisation the investment programme planned by the big four was largely cancelled as national resources were ploughed into other areas like housing. This led to the railway being seen as a "working museum". Some of these schemes were picked up again in the 1955 Modernisation Plan, a full ten years after the war and after a change of government.

                2. Tom Paine Silver badge

                  Re: @JIm84

                  What you might be thinking of is the late 50s loss of traffic that made many lines uneconomic to operate.

                  Fun little sidebar -- it seems to have passed largely unnoticed, but Johnson has casually promised to reinstate all the lines closed by the Beeching cuts.

                  https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/11/15/conservatives-reopen-railway-lines-closed-1960s-beeching-cuts/

                  Somewhat confusingly, he thinks this will cost £500m ...

                  1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

                    Re: @JIm84

                    Johnson has casually promised to reinstate all the lines closed by the Beeching cuts.

                    I haven't seen any suggestion that he said all of them, just the ones that are viable.

                    Given that Beeching's report was based on outdated figures for trains hauled by steam locomotives, without considering diesel traction, and was implemented by a transport minister with known connections to the companies building the new motorways, the cuts are generally considered to have been excessive. Restoring some more lines is long overdue.

          3. Rol Silver badge

            Re: @steelpillow and ImAlrightJack

            "And here's your £500 from the sale of your car"

            "I didn't want to sell it!"

            "Well, I'm sorry. You could always buy another one"

            "Yes. I see my old car is being advertised at £2,000 just one day later"

            "Yeah. The markets are a little fickle"

            "No you purposefully sold it for a quarter of its worth to your mate"

        2. HarryBl

          Re: @steelpillow and ImAlrightJack

          Before the GPO was privatised you had a choice of two types of telephone - a big black Bakelite one or a flipfone. It was hard wired and couldn't be moved. BT, regardless of their dire customer service, was a breath of fresh air.

          1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

            Re: @steelpillow and ImAlrightJack

            Not only that, but when we wanted a phone installed (circa 1968) we had to wait 3 months until they deigned to let us have one.

            1. Rol Silver badge

              Re: @steelpillow and ImAlrightJack

              Based solely on my experiences in the 80's I would highly recommend you buy a couple of extra bags of coal for winter. Just in case the miners go on strike again.

              1. CountCadaver Bronze badge

                Re: @steelpillow and ImAlrightJack

                My parents had a telephone line installed when they moved into their first house in 1980, until privatisation, it was a party line shared with several other neighbours, who could and did listen in on everyone's calls. You know the idea that the USA binned in the early 1960s....

            2. Allan 1

              Re: @steelpillow and ImAlrightJack

              Not only that, my parents actually had to attend a face to face interview with the GPO in what is now known as DIAL House in Manchester, and actually JUSTIFY to a GPO worker, why they needed a telephone.

            3. SImon Hobson Silver badge

              Re: @steelpillow and ImAlrightJack

              we had to wait 3 months

              Wow, only 3 months !

              The problem is that anyone who can remember what it was really like pre-BT is, like those who can't remember the old BR dustbins, getting on a bit - late fifties at least.

              Too many people see the past through rose tinted spectacles - a bit like how our town has a Dickensian festival and people dress up in Victorian era costumes. I see a rather different proportion of "well off and well dressed" to "has b***er all and works all hours to keep a hovel roof over the family" than there would have been, and those that do decide to dress up as the lowly ones seem to be rather fitter, healthier, and happier than most of them would have been. But I digress ...

              I can (just) remember to old BR, and I can (just) remember the old GPO. I would not want to return to either of those. I notice that when there's some railway news (typically price hikes for the commuters), the ones in the vox-pop interviews wanting to renationalise the railways are all far too young to realise just what they are asking for. Cue the old saying, be careful what you ask for, you may get it !

              1. Claverhouse Silver badge

                Re: @steelpillow and ImAlrightJack

                Too many people see the past through rose tinted spectacles - a bit like how our town has a Dickensian festival and people dress up in Victorian era costumes. I see a rather different proportion of "well off and well dressed" to "has b***er all and works all hours to keep a hovel roof over the family" than there would have been, and those that do decide to dress up as the lowly ones seem to be rather fitter, healthier, and happier than most of them would have been. But I digress ...

                Wasn't that the heyday of Classical Liberal/Whig laissez-faire capitalism pre-socialism ?

                Not like the wealth-owners spontaneously decided to improve the working-class lot. As late as the 1930s they were still trying their idee-fixe of forcing coal miners to take less wages.

              2. Esme

                Re: @steelpillow and ImAlrightJack

                @Simon Hobson I disagree somewhat, but my take on things may be slightly different to most. I'm old enough to (just) remember travelling on a mainline steam train and a time when having a phone in your home instead of using a phonebox was a bit posh, and maybe every other family had a car, singular, and motorways? what motorways?!

                With regard to trains - and bearing in mind that I cannot drive, so I use public transport (and for preference trains) a lot - it never made any sense to me as a user for the trains and associated infrastructure to be privatised due to the blame game whenever anything goes amiss.

                Not only that but fatuous tannoy announcements as trains come into stations of the ilk "thank you for using (company name) for your journey" irritate - they;re just noise pollution, because if there's one thing train users do NOT have any realistic choice of it's which train company to use on the journey they want to make. I've also experienced the situation , where there were delays of even station tsaff not knowing what the hell was going on, because the company owning the station wasnt kept informed by the company running the delayed train. And privatisation doesn't solve all ills- one only has to look at the situation south and east of Reading to see that.

                In general, I contend it's utter bloody madness to have a non-nationalised rail network - it would have been better, IMHO, to have worked on implementing better systems within the nationalised train setup than selling it off. If privatised companies are allowed to err then improve, why not nationalised ones? Seems like double standards to me.

                With regard to phones, I utterly LOATHE the current setup not because it's privatised, but because of how shit it is in delivering the service I want compared to how the PO service used to be. (It's a phone. I want to be able to speak to people, that;s it. Oh, text? OK, that's neat and useful, I'll have that too, please. I am NOT interested in the internet on a phone, that is crazy talk! If you can get it on my pocket computer, I'm game to give it a go, though). Caveat - technology has changed dramatically since back then, so we're right on the verge of comparing apples with oranges, in that mobile phones didnt exist back then. If they had, would the PO have done any better than the current excrutiating mess? Hmm.. tricky. My guess is that the PO might well have experimented with the types of service phones might provide more slowly than private companies have, and that might not have been a bad thing.

                I'm also aware that I have definitely hit the age of (genuine) old cantankerous biddyness (as against that which I have claimed in years gone by for comic effect)* and so at least some of the negativity I feel toward the current situation with regard to phones should be taken with a pinch of salt. But I really do hate the direction mobile phones have gone in, from highly useful simple devices with decent battery life to vastly overcomplicated pieces of kit that are shit as phones and shit as computers, that are actually controlled by phone companies who seem to think that throwing everything including the kitchen sink into the kit they rent to you is a good idea and doesnt impact usability one bit (and I'll only mention my loathing of touch screen keyboards this once, promise).

                Oh - and my liking for the basics of life being nationalised has more to do with my desire for simplicity in the fundamentals of life, not my political leanings. If there's a problem with my electricity bill, I;d rather just contact the electricity Board (as was) than be shoved from meter company to transmission company to "power supply company" trying to get to the bottom of the problem. Privatising some things is actually LESS efficient for the customer - and causes more stress. I don;t give a monkeys if other stuff is privatised. Fine by me.

                Anyway in summary - I think renationalising the railways actually would be a sensible thing to do. Renationalising the phone service though - I like the idea (I'm in favour of nationalised basic service like power water transport and comms generally), but honestly, I think the insanity with mobile phones has gone so far that that mess isnt ever likely to be sensibly fixed anytime soon, whether privatised or not. So why not let private companies take the blame for the mess they've created rather than renationalise it, with the inevitable huge problems involved in doing so, and then have lots of naysayers blaming the mess on it being nationalised rather than blaming the private companies that caused the mess of overpriced user-hostility that is the modern phone landscape?

                Right, I've said me piece, settling down in my recliner with a throw over my lap nice cuppa and blissfully going back to my video games on my ethernet wired desktop PC. WiFi? Bah, humbug! :-}*

                *You think I'm kidding? I'm not! (chuckle)**

                ** But I'm still capable of poking fun at my own expense!

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @steelpillow and ImAlrightJack

            Before the GPO was privatised, petrol was cheap, the music charts were worth listening too, and I didn't have grey hair.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: @steelpillow and ImAlrightJack

              Good to see some consistency in the boring stakes though. So that's a win for you.

          3. Tom Paine Silver badge

            Re: @steelpillow and ImAlrightJack

            Eh? From 1959 until privatisation in the 80s, the standard phone was the Type 706 (and variants) which was plastic -- ABS I think -- not bakelite. "Trimphones" didn't turn up til the late 70s as I recall.

            https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/GPO_telephones

          4. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @steelpillow and ImAlrightJack

            >Before the GPO was privatised you had a choice of two types of telephone - a big black Bakelite one or a flipfone.

            Actually there were dozens, a choice of colours and none were Bakelite. I think you might be confused by the fact there were standard designs and differences were subtle - many manufacturers produced them. Still have several of ours all working beautifully - have a 746 connected in the hall as the bells can be heard from the bottom of the garden.

            There's a reasonably exhaustive collection here:

            http://www.telephonesuk.co.uk/phones_1960-80.htm

          5. MrReynolds2U

            Re: @steelpillow and ImAlrightJack

            That's not even true, at all

        3. steelpillow Silver badge

          Re: @steelpillow and ImAlrightJack

          @AC: I don't give a flying fsck who owns a monopoly, all monopolies are shite. Broadband is the perfect example: for most of us fibre is effectively a monopoly and it's shite, while 4G is competitive and it just works.

          All of which has nothing whatever to do with the fact that Corbyn is the dumbest Labour leader I ever had the displeasure to listen to.

          1. James O'Shea

            Re: @steelpillow and ImAlrightJack

            He's got some way to go before he can beat Michael Foote or (shudder) Neil Kinnock. Exactly how in God's name Kinnock managed to lose in 1992 is quite beyond me.

            1. werdsmith Silver badge

              Re: @steelpillow and ImAlrightJack

              Kinnock fell over in the sea whilst playacting for cameras in a mocked up beach walk.

              It was game over at that point.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: @steelpillow and ImAlrightJack

                I always thought Neil Kinnock's biggest gaffe was holding the victory party just before the election. All ways bound to go down well with the voters that one.

              2. AndrueC Silver badge
                Alert

                Re: @steelpillow and ImAlrightJack

                I always thought it was that party conference when he appeared so happy and suddenly people realised how close he was to being elected.

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @steelpillow and ImAlrightJack

          "BT used to be owned by everyone who paid taxes, then the torys gave it away to their friends who continued to raid the taxpayer for years and degraded the service whilst charging more for less."

          You clearly never used their services back then. The govt. raided the GPO coffers and never invested back in the infrastructure, that's why it took months to get connected, cost a fortune and was using ancient kit. Was only once privatised that things moved on. That's not to say they are perfect, they aren't, but those are some industrial strength rose-tinted specs you've got on.

    3. JimboSmith Silver badge

      Re: Everything will be FREE!!

      A mate of mine (and a lot of other smart people) reckon that Labour have got their sums seriously wrong on this. What made me laugh was somebody on the tube was talking on the way home and said they were a dyed in the wool Labour supporter. Until this pledge was announced that is. He said as somebody who worked in the city he could see that it wasn't going to work. He said they'd obviously just come up with a policy to try and match the Conservatives. It's just they had to go one better and made it dafter as a result. He said it didn't matter what they promised they weren't going to get in. They knew this and were just saying any old sh!t.

      1. Persona Bronze badge

        Re: Everything will be FREE!!

        It's a pretty safe promise. Fast and free broadband for everyone by 2030.

        2030 isn't in the lifetime of the Parliament we are about to elect, or even the one after that, so honouring it is only a problem if they win the next three general elections. And if they do still don't expect the "free" to start till after the "everyone" has been done as that would be quite unfair.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Everything will be FREE!!

      I sympathize. I went through a similar process although I am in the country whilst at the same time being 35 minutes from London Marylebone station. Having a "business" (contractor) I went for a business grade service. They (Vaioni) ate the first 10k of install costs so it cost me about 5k for Openreach to run about 3.5k of fibre underground with approx 400pm for a 100mbps symmetric service. It's still pricey and I work from a lot and love pr0n. Sometimes at the same time lol.

      Smut jokes aside, the symmetric nature of the service makes things like backup of multi camera HD CCTV footage viable and proper offsite cloud backups (once the initial seeding was done)

    5. Persona Bronze badge

      Re: Everything will be FREE!!

      Everything will be free and you will get the customer service you are paying for.

      "Thank you for using BT. We know you haven't a choice"

    6. Tomato42 Silver badge

      Re: Everything will be FREE!!

      > FTTC cabinet is inside the exchange which is over a mile away

      you keep using that word, I don't think it means what you think it means

      (this is in relation to the clueless damned working the helldesk, not the AC)

  2. Korev Silver badge

    The almost cut throat competition between broadband rivals has meant faster speeds, improved coverage and lower prices for consumers up and down the country.

    That's bollocks, for most of the country speeds are determined by whatever technology BT decides to give them. The competition pretty much decides who send you bills and who you shout at when it doesn't work.

    1. Wellyboot Silver badge

      There seems to be cut throat competition to provide the lowest level of service support possible to joe public.

      1. SkippyBing Silver badge

        Because it turns out people will happily accept poor service in exchange for lower bills. Hence Ryan Air and Talk Talk still being in business. But if that's a choice people want to make then let them, it's not as if there aren't better choices available, e.g. any other airline, Andrews and Arnold etc.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          And some people aren't snobs, and will pay for the cheapest service that works well.

          You can continue buying your "designer labels", but don't act like your bling makes you better than anyone else.

        2. iainw

          "people will happily accept poor service in exchange for lower bills"

          and that it EXACTLY why the NHS and Social Care are spiralling downwards in to oblivion.

          people vote with their wallets rather than their 'principles'...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Many ISPs don't even realise they're in the customer service industry...

        1. katrinab Silver badge
          Flame

          That's because they are in the bill-printing industry.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Along with many in the "service" sector.

    2. Commander Lard

      Unless your also in an Alt.net provider location or Virgin Media cable area, where openreach will happily install fibre to attempt to oust their competition and enter into price and speed wars, it's the area's where there is no competition to openreach that you find there's no hurry to invest.....

    3. Dave314159ggggdffsdds

      There are independent equipment providers, these days. Just not very widespread, because, here's a puzzler, mostly people in rural areas would mostly rather have slower, cheaper broadband than more expensive fibre.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        I live in a rural area. The other day someone from OpenReach came to the door surveying for FTTP. I pointed out where the existing, buried, phone line comes into the premises along the longest diagonal - in addition to the original retaining wall it runs under a hedge, some fruit tree roots, the greenhouse, the concrete drive and the concrete laid paving stones before coming through the 2' wide concrete foundations. As I'd downloaded both 32 and 64 bit Devuan DVD imagess via the FTTC connection just before he arrived I felt able to resist his offer of overhead FTTP and whatever extra costs it would have meant.

        When your "slower" is quite fast enough for purpose I'm not going to throw away good money on something that produces no effective improvement.

        1. JetSetJim Silver badge
          Pint

          YMMV - I lived in a rural area, asked OR to deliver a copper line from the pole on the neighbours front garden 3 months before I moved into a new build, which they continually failed to do. Got FTTP from Gigaclear, perfectly happy on 100mbps up and down.

          Now moved to urban area, having to suffer Virgin or glacial BT.

          Icon -> crying in it

          1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

            Yep, YMMV. It's a postcode lottery!

            I'm lucky - after years of pretty crap service, promises of Fibre (which eventually reached our exchange in the next village, but not our village!). But sometimes it's worth waiting. A couple of years they got round to us, and because the local cabling is pretty crap they went straight to FTTP. I went wild and went for a souped-up package, and I have a fairly stable 300/45Mb connection, plus landline, anytime calls and mobile for about £75/month. I think the guarantee is 150Mbps down.

            Is that what Corbyn will be giving everyone? If not, how much extra will I have to pay to get the same as I have now?

            It's a nice idea, but I'm not sure it's the best use of an extra £15-20Bn. Obviously if he axes HS2, Trident and Brexit then it will just be small change!

            1. JetSetJim Silver badge

              Saw an interesting article defending HS2 today. Basically the premise is that if you stick a new line in for high speed services to and from the north, you increase capacity on the commuter lines as you aren't mixing trains of different speeds so you can run them closer together. Currently you have to leave massive gaps between them to let the faster trains through.

              What the government has got wrong is banging on about shaving half an hour off the London to Manchester run, rather than increasing commuter capacity

              1. Colin 29

                It's always been about capacity, apparently the current track is running at 100%. Most people don't realise this because some bright spark decided to call it HighSpeed2

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                HS2 is to Birmingham, not the north. The plans to extend to the north do not include additional rail but using existing lines.

            2. Rol Silver badge

              No political party provides a ten thousand page breakdown of exactly what it is they are promising, but I guess the idea that your service will be degraded to a Communist inspired level playing field of 100Mb is laughable.

              In all practicality, those enjoying faster speeds will continue to enjoy them, while everyone else will get boosted to 100Mb.

              Whether your faster service comes at a premium or not is arguable, but I guess what you're paying now will have at least £30 knocked off.

              Insisting a community gets a bus service does not then mean they have to sell their cars. It means they get some choice where none existed, while those who could never afford a car get the opportunity to look beyond village life.

              1. SImon Hobson Silver badge

                In all practicality, those enjoying faster speeds will continue to enjoy them, while everyone else will get boosted to 100Mb.

                I wouldn't want to assume anything as good as that ! Given Corbyn's fluffy thinking, the idea of a state-determined speed "and that's what you get" is not off the cards. lets face it, the idea that someone with a bit more brass can buy something better than the poor old chap earning a pittance down t'mine would be an anathema to a hardline socialist like him. Not that he seems averse to enjoying the fruits of his generous MP's salary and having the generous state funded MP's pension to look forward to.

                Elsewhere I read a good suggestion. You superglue a load of climate protesters to the outside of your your building for insulation. Install a Boris for constant hot air heating. Put a Farage in the basement for a constant supply of manure for the methane digester. And finally, put a Corbyn in the loft for wooly insulation from the harsh reality of outside.

              2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

                Whether your faster service comes at a premium or not is arguable, but I guess what you're paying now will have at least £30 knocked off.

                And £60 added to your taxes to pay for it, of which maybe £5 will actually make it to the broadband company.

            3. Not an Anonymous Coward

              300/45Mb connection, plus landline, anytime "calls and mobile for about £75/month. I think the guarantee is 150Mbps down.

              Is that what Corbyn will be giving everyone?"

              I believe the promise was a gold standard connection so I'd expect 2x 10G FTTP following diverse physical and network paths. A generous IPv4 and Ipv6 allocations and uncontend.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          that's an excellent point. I argued today with someone that said that 5g would obsolete fibre. For absolute transmission rates that's bollocks but for some use cases, including lots of residential scenarios it may well be adequate.

    4. Gio Ciampa

      "The competition pretty much decides who send you bills and who you shout at when it doesn't work."

      What competition? Where I live its Virgin or Nothing!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        LOl

        Just like Epstein ...

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yup, privatise anything and what you get is a race to the bottom

    6. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Unhappy

      "for most of the country speeds are determined by whatever technology BT decides to give them."

      Yup.

      Now Openreach as a state owned institution that is not under BT's direct control.

      Maybe.

    7. ZanzibarRastapopulous

      That's bollocks, for most of the country speeds are determined by whatever technology BT decides to give them. The competition pretty much decides who send you bills and who you shout at when it doesn't work.

      This simply isn't true, unbundled providers exist pretty much everwhere in the country and have their own equipment in the cabinet. Sure, open reach provides the back haul, which is why that's crap, and open reach provide the wire, which is why that's not been replaced since the early 1900s.

      Corbyn's plan is to take out the one bit that open reach haven't fucked up.

      If you have a bad line, then get your arse together and pull the bloody thing down so they run a fresh one. That's how you used to get stuff done in the state monopoly days, because none of the employess gave a toss.

      1. AndrueC Silver badge
        Meh

        This simply isn't true, unbundled providers exist pretty much everwhere in the country and have their own equipment in the cabinet.

        No, they don't. Some of them have their own equipment in the exchanges (and for ADSL that will include a DSLAM) but all the equipment in the new VDSL/G.FAST cabinets belongs to openreach. The LLUOs made it clear that they couldn't justify adding their own equipment to street-side cabinets.

        So everyone with a VDSL or G.FAST connection is using openreach equipment and cabling to get to the exchange. At the exchange openreach hand over the traffic to various CPs (including BT retail) using their GEA product.

    8. Tom 64
      Coffee/keyboard

      Competition clearly isn't working in the UK, or is simply rigged.

      I live in Tokyo and I don't even have to pay to have 8Mb cable broadband (included in rent). I could opt for 1Gbs FTTH, which would cost about 35 quid a month.

      The fact that Londoner's can't get more than 4Mbps from BT is pretty shoddy. Where has all the money for infrastructure investment been going?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        don't even have to pay to have 8Mb cable broadband (included in rent).

        So you are paying for it, but as part of your rent.

      2. the hatter

        Thats sounds like any number of high-density buildings in London. Funnily enough, installing one uplink and switch/router into the basement to then serve dozens/hundreds of tenants in a building is really easy money, compared to cabling up an equivalent number of homes - and of course it's all baked into the offer (whether free, or what looks like a good price for gig), it's a feature of the high-spec rental package, the building owner gets it at a fraction of the cost and the ISP gets a captive market, because the landlord won't allow a dozen other companies to bring in lines, run through all their ducts, punch holes through structure, etc. Look at the likes of hyperoptic.

        "Londoners can't get more than 4Mb" is misdirection. Plenty/most londoners can get much better, plenty of rather rural people can too. But some unlucky londoners and more unlucky rural folk are behind the curve. It's the londoners I have sympathy for, because they're living somewhere you expect (and pay/rent to be close to) the latest facilities.

        1. Tom 64

          No, I wasn't attempting any misdirection, simply making a comparison.

          So I'll try again a little more directly: The UK has some of the highest prices for some of the shittest services among developed nations.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        To be fair it makes a very nice change all the money not going to London. Could we swap some of the broadband cash for transport so London doesn't get 3x per head than elsewhere?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Paranoid, moi?

    And of course we're all going to trust a broadband network run by the government, aren't we.

    It always amazes me how successive British governments get away with things that the Chinese, Russians and North Koreans can only dream of.

    1. Just Enough
      Facepalm

      Re: Paranoid, moi?

      If the Government spooks currently want access to broadband, all they have to do is knock on a few doors and it will be provided. The Government does not need to own or run the network to do this.

      And if you think that the Chinese, Russians and North Koreans can only dream of owning the internet within their borders, then you are clearly not paying much attention.

      1. obiwanconobi

        Re: Paranoid, moi?

        Exactly, the government is already censoring our internet with torrent sites being blocked and the touted porn block that the Tories wanted.

        1. Tom Paine Silver badge

          Re: Paranoid, moi?

          Having a single national consumer access network makes it much easier to do blanket blocks on "unwanted" traffic - unwanted by the government, that is.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Paranoid, moi?

        Ask? It's already in place, I've seen the undocumented port mirrors.

    2. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: Paranoid, moi?

      It always amazes me how successive British governments get away with things that the Chinese, Russians and North Koreans can only dream of. ..... Anonymous Coward

      Hmmmm ...... It always amazes me how successive British governments give away with things that the Chinese, Russians and North Koreans can only dream of.

      Such has one naturally concluding that Blighty be totally unfit for successive future greater intelligence game purpose with such a model failing leaderships.

      1. Mike Shepherd
        Meh

        Re: Paranoid, moi?

        Such has one naturally concluding that Blighty be totally unfit for successive future greater intelligence game purpose with such a model failing leaderships.

        What?

        1. Fred Dibnah Silver badge

          Re: Paranoid, moi?

          Its base are all longing to us, or something. Bot needs its batteries changed.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Paranoid, moi? Eh! Wot!! No more pleaseee !!!

          Mike Shepherd,

          "Such has one naturally concluding that Blighty be totally unfit for successive future greater intelligence game purpose with such a model failing leaderships.

          What?"

          Noooo !!!! ....... don't ask questions or you will get even *more* !!!!

          :)

      2. A Splurger

        Re: Paranoid, moi?

        >Such has one naturally concluding that Blighty be totally unfit for

        >successive future greater intelligence game purpose with such a

        >model failing leaderships.

        Another sh*t Scrabble hand, alien man?

        1. phuzz Silver badge
          Terminator

          Re: Paranoid, moi?

          (pssst, go look up Markov chain chatbots and you'll understand more about our alien friend)

      3. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

        Re: Paranoid, moi?

        You are @AWomanFromVenus and I claim my £5

    3. LucreLout Silver badge

      Re: Paranoid, moi?

      And of course we're all going to trust a broadband network run by the government, aren't we.

      I stopped counting the cost of Labours planned nationalizations when it passed £1.5 Trillion. There's not actually the money in the country to do it, even if it were a good idea, which of course it isn't.

      However, the problem comes when investment is needed and the economy is tight. Where does the government of whatever hue spend its money? Health, education, gas & leccy, rail, mail, and cat pictures all become competing concerns. Something has to lose out, which is why we got the chronic under-investment in utilities and rail that we're only now seeing the end of the backlog of work.

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: Paranoid, moi?

        I work in the water industry. And the reason it was privatised wasn't ideology. It was because we were in the EU. Basically with the British government in charge of both regulation and investment, they weren't going to pass laws to clean up the beaches that would then mean they had to spend money that they didn't have on water treatment.

        But once that got agreed at EU level, there was no way out of it. So it was either raise taxes or borrow more money. It's been one of the better privatisations too. In that water bills haven't shot up, and lots of money got invested in boring sewage treatment. But also we got a nice regulator, who only let the companies put prices up, if they commit cash to the various investment periods on upgrading the system.

        So you could nationalise it again. I think that's silly, but it's possible, they're profitable companies and they have to be treated as public utilities anyway - so they're always going to be highly regulated. Even now they can't cut people's water off if they don't pay their bills for example. . But once you do that, prices won't change much - because they're still going to have to keep doing loads of investment to fix the infrastructure that was so poorly invested in after WWII. But if government is feeling poor, they will stilla have the same struggles to find that investment - with the cries of "fund our schools 'n' hospitals" ringing in their ears.

        This also leads to worse regulation, as a department that can't get an increase in funding through the Treasury is unlikely to propose tougher regulation. Which is why the current system is actually the sweet spot (in my opinion obviously), because government now have the incentive to do their job and regulate properly - and the private companies then have to raise the funding to comply with that, or they get fined and not allowed to raise their prices. If government takes it back over, it's going to be hungry for cash to pay for all its social programs, so bills won't drop (I bet they go up faster - it's such an easy stealth tax) - and then future regulation will be hostage to the financial position of government.

        And that's before I make the more party-political point that a Chancellor who's publicly admitted to being a Marxist is unlikely to manage the economy well - and so leave his government flush with cash for investment...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Paranoid, moi?

          > It was because we were in the EU

          Er, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scottish_Water

          1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

            Re: Paranoid, moi?

            Anon,

            You didn't bother to read my next sentence then...

            1. Roland6 Silver badge

              Re: Paranoid, moi?

              >...next sentence

              "And the reason it was privatised wasn't ideology."

              The EU might have played a part, but we can be sure ideology played a far larger part , given the Conservative's under Thatcher was ideologically committed to reducing the state and the privatisation of state businesses...

              1. Rol Silver badge

                Re: Paranoid, moi?

                In my experience, water rates went from pennies to pounds very quickly.

                If the government had overseen this, instead of ducking the outrage by offloading their responsibility, then bills would be at cost plus a few percent to fund investment, instead of cost plus 50% to fund investors lifestyles.

          2. G R Goslin

            Re: Paranoid, moi?

            And Welsh Water

        2. envida

          Re: Paranoid, moi?

          Here in Sunny Northern Ireland, the water company is still owned by the government. We don't even have separate water bills, it's covered in the rates (which are cheaper than England's council tax). Yes it's underfunded and they keep threatening us with water bills, but the water quality, environmental performance and customer service has been improving year on year. Its a situation where a Nationalised business works and in my opinion it does a much better job and produces better tasting water than the alleged criminals at Southen Water ever did when I had to deal with them.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Ireland_Water

          https://news.sky.com/story/southern-water-face-criminal-probe-after-record-126-fine-and-customers-to-get-rebates-11748468

          Unfortunately BT is not a water company, part privatising BT will just lead to even more underinvestment when the government realises it doesn't have enough to pay for broadband and the NHS, remove what little competition BT has, which is actually increasing, but not fast enough. It will lead to the UK falling behind other parts of the world. They would be better off giving OFCOM some teeth and forcing it to address competition concerns, make Virgin open their network. The whole argument that BT didn't have to fund their network and Virgin did holds less truth as time moves on

          Some of my family live in Australia and that's exactly what they are seeing there with the NBN, given their successive governments seem a little bit more on the ball than your usual Labour MP (We're lucky if Diane Abbot knows what day it is) I suspect British Broadband* will make NBN look like the holy grail.

          *I'm hoping that as Northern Ireland isn't part of Britain, merely in the UK, it won't be covered by this rubbish idea

          1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

            Re: Paranoid, moi?

            England's water got privatised, because that was where most of the money needed to be spent. Along with Wales's, but then it got into power and hotels and leisure and then got bought and sold it's water arm back to the government for £1 (and some lovely debt) and is now a not for profit. Scotland and NI are under different legal regimes - which is why their Water Regs are slightly different - and everything happened differently.

          2. Rol Silver badge

            Re: Paranoid, moi?

            Seeing as the investment is intended to be paid for by taxing the big internet players, I can't see how the NHS and broadband would end up fighting at the same table for money.

        3. TheSkunkyMonk

          Re: Paranoid, moi?

          Yeah Until the water company come along and try and put a charge on your property for a few hundred quid and then try to add interest to that and force you to sell. I shit you not I didn't pay for 2 years due to DWP issues and I nearly lost everything! for the sake of a 900quid bill. About time our water was taken back into government hands. Along with gas and electricity, just for the price hikes alone.

        4. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: Paranoid, moi?

          How terrible that the EU insists that we don’t cover our beaches with human faeces.

          We should be allowed to pour sewage over the whole coastline,

        5. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

          Re: Paranoid, moi?

          And of course, Welsh Water / Dŵr Cymru is a brilliant model for the way ahead - it's now a mutual, owned by the customers. When Corbyn and his fans go on about 'nationalising' water, he can keep his dirty hands off our water.

          Anyway, in a few years, after Independence, it won't matter - as we'll be setting the price of the water that we sell to England, and the price will be going up. We don't care if it's a private company or a public one that buys, so long as you have the readies!

          1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

            Re: Paranoid, moi?

            It would be nice if Welsh Water didn't reduce the (available) pressure between 11pm and 6.30 am - some of us do like to do dishes and shower between those times :-(

        6. Stephen Wilkinson

          Re: Paranoid, moi?

          Try being with South West Water where the cost of cleaning up some of the largest amounts of coastline was.

          We have far higher bills than other areas of the country because of this.

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

      3. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

        Re: Paranoid, moi?

        I stopped counting the cost of Labours planned nationalizations when it passed £1.5 Trillion. There's not actually the money in the country to do it

        Well, they could do what the Tories do and borrow? (Just kidding) Remember, Tories have added £0.9 Trillion to the National Debt in 9 years, which is quite impressive given how they've been slashing expenditure on everything worth having.

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: Paranoid, moi?

          Well, they could do what the Tories do and borrow? (Just kidding) Remember, Tories have added £0.9 Trillion to the National Debt in 9 years, which is quite impressive given how they've been slashing expenditure on everything worth having.

          Pen-y-gors,

          At what point does a comment that's factually accurate move from polemic to outright dishonesty?

          The Conservatives came to power with the deficit at about £150 billion a year. They've gradually reduced that to about what £10-15bn. Which they've done by basically increasing governement spending less fast than the economy has grown.

          What would you have had them do? Not deficit spend at all, but just cut government spending in the first year by £150bn?

          Reducing the deficit more slowly may have resulted in slightly more economic growth or may have resulted in a crisis of confidence in Gilts - and thus the interest the government pays jumping from below £10bn a year to around the £60bn+ a year mark - rather than the £30-£40bn it is now. This was unknown at the time.

          So is that deficit the fault of the people who inherited it, or the people who created it? Had the last Labour government been running a small surplus - to reduce the exuberance and inflation of the boom - as the Keynesian economics that Gordon Brown claimed to believe in recommended - the choices of the next government would have been a lot more palatable. A deficit of only say £80bn a year (5% ish of GDP) was sustainable for quite a while, but one at around 10% of GDP was pushing government finances to crisis point rather too quickly for comfort. It's always easy to call for Keynesian deficit spending in recessions - but that option is much harder to do if you haven't run the Keynsian surplusses in the booms first.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Paranoid, moi?

            Oh please. The deficit existed because of the global economic collapse. It was always going to shrink massively as the economy recovered. Fuck all to do with the Tories, who's cuts have more likely slowed that reduction. Any government with it's own sovereign currency and a huge economy like ours could have ridden out the last decade no problem. The debt that accrues from these deficits isn't eliminated by paying it back so much as it is inflated away.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Paranoid, moi?

        Not the money in the country? What is UK GDP? It is roughly another £1 trillion above that. Not sure you've actually been counting either when I come to think of it.

        The under investment comes through choice, not need. There has been no need for the cuts in the last 9 years. Investment when the economy is tight by the government is a proven measure to boost the economy. If voters weren't so easily persuaded that government finances have any relationship to a household budget those in power would not get away with the great con they persist with.

    4. ParasiteParty

      Re: Paranoid, moi?

      They already have your data for the last 12 months.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Paranoid, moi?

      Looking forward to getting my new GCHQ homehub.

      (Silent backup included as standard)

    6. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. Warm Braw Silver badge

    Political self-obsession and onanism

    Even Boris Johnson has to be right occasionally.

    The reason BT was privatised in the first place is that every time the telephone network needed major investment the Treasury had kittens about public borrowing and the plans were scaled back and shelved. There were waiting lists even to share lines; telephones and calls were expensive. And the government got the blame for it all.

    BT is far from perfect, OpenReach needs to be split off and better regulated - and perhaps telecommunications service providers should get a stake in its ownership and management. But the idea that politicians can succeed with something they barely understand where everyone else has failed just tells you everything you need to know about politics.

    Even if a Corbyn government were to make a major investment in broadband over a parliament, there is little likelihood that the necessary funds would continue to be forthcoming from future governments: the real problem with public ownership is that it's really hard to run a business when your priorities are reversed every few years. And future governments will get the blame for it all.

    What we need from politicians is boring competence. Regrettably, that doesn't get much traction in an election campaign and it's the incompetence that's getting tedious.

    1. Julz Bronze badge

      Re: Political self-obsession and onanism

      "boring competence" well said.

    2. SkippyBing Silver badge

      Re: Political self-obsession and onanism

      I'd also imagine that if this plan went through the best you'd ever get is 30mbps as that's what the founding charter of the National Broadband Service was and there'd be no incentive to improve 'our NBS' which is free at the point of use and not for sale. God just thinking about it depresses me.

      1. obiwanconobi

        Re: Political self-obsession and onanism

        Well considering the plan is to provide FTTP for every home then 30mbps is a bit low and a silly suggestion to make, don't you think?

        1. Wellyboot Silver badge

          Re: Political self-obsession and onanism

          In any UK nationalised industry 'silly' is the far off sunny uplands that can only be dreamed about. 'Holy Mother of Who TF thought that ludicrous plan up' will be nearer the mark.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Political self-obsession and onanism

            There are some nationalised industries that do well and I can't imagine the private sector doing a better job.

            The NHS (for the money spent)

            The Army

            The Police Force

            The Fire Service

            DVLA

            Large parts of the civil service

            etc

            There are pros and cons with nationalised vs privatised. It definitely isn't a case of one sort good, one sort bad. Personally I think broadband would not benefit from being nationalised but similarly is not great in its current privatised form. However it could be much worse, look at America.

            I would also question whether broadband over the wires will still be the default in 10 years. I already constantly switch to 4G on my phone at home as I get better coverage and service than my WiFi. Combine with (cough) 5g and LEO satellite links. Seems a lot of effort to run a physical cable to every site?

            1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

              Re: Political self-obsession and onanism

              Anon,

              Actually I can easily imagine the NHS being better semi-privatised. It's a sacred cow in British poliitics, so the NHS will continue to be on the edge of failure until Labour change their minds. The Tories won't be trusted to reform it well (despite the fact that Labour have claimed they're going to abolish the NHS in every election since 1950 - and there's been no sign of it happening yet). And Labour don't seem to want to reform it.

              But I've lived in Belgium, and their system is not that much different to the rest of Western Europe. And a friend of mine ran a company in Belgium in the early 2000s that shipped NHS patients who'd been too long on waiting lists over for the operation. The Beligian (semi-privatised) system did things like heart bypass operations for a third of the cost of the NHS - and with lower hospital infection rates and better survival rates. A third of the cost then went to this company, who brought the patient over, put a relative up in a hotel (so they could have a visitior) and held their hands and filled out the paperwork / dealt with the language issues.

              So in the Belgian system you had government owned hospitals, the universities owned teaching hospitals, their were church and charity owned ones plus fully private ones. You picked yours (probably on the advice of your GP) and then went and it was all covered by your insurance. There were big non-profit insurers, with policies paid for by employers or by government for those on benefits - and then you had a second top-up insurance scheme to cover things like bed-and-board (I seem to remember hospitals charged €20 a night for your food and bed linen) - which meant you got edible food.

              The government set the cost of basic operations, if the hospital screwed up or gave you a post-op infection then they had to pay to treat it - but you could pay extra if you wanted a fancy-dan private hospital with hot and cold running call girls and fresh flowers every day.

              And of course for all the talk of the NHS being this monolithic public system - the GPs are mostly private contractors or partnerships running their own companies. Personally I think it would be better as a mixed system, like most of the rest of Western Europe - though I think the insurance schemes they use may be more complex than just using taxation to fund it.

              1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
                Happy

                Re: Political self-obsession and onanism

                Also privatised defence contractors worked really well in the Elizabethan days... After all, that's how we beat the Spanish Armada. And on the cheap too! She didn't even resupply the fleet for about 2 weeks - and they improvised! Well nearly lost due to lack of ammo actually - but that's just quibbling...

                Also we should probably ignore the incident where the whole fleet was following Drake at night, and he doused his ship's lights so he could sneak off and pirate a Spanish ship that had been dismasted - leading to the whole English fleet getting scattered and having to waste half a day to re-form.

                On the other hand English pirates privateers in the Carribbean were an excellent (and free!) foreign policy tool for dealing with Spain. As Elizabeth even invested in some of the ventures - the crown even made a profit. Although we also have her to blame for some pretty dreadful films...

            2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              Re: Political self-obsession and onanism

              "There are some nationalised industries that do well and I can't imagine the private sector doing a better job."

              The reason BT was privatised was because as a nationalised concern it couldn't get the finance to do even a poor job.

            3. Dave314159ggggdffsdds

              Re: Political self-obsession and onanism

              Many of those are privatised in notorious hellholes like Scandinavia. Quite a few are actually partly privatised here in the UK.

              Even armies. Venice built a great empire with mercenary armies. The US used mercenaries in Iraq and Afghanistan. Arguably NATO came into being so richer nations coukd subcontract being in the front lines to poorer countries.

              1. Danny 2 Silver badge

                Re: Political self-obsession and onanism

                Venice built a great empire? With mercenary armies? You might want to read The Prince by Machiavelli, and compare that to the ironically named Erik Prince.

                The fact is, they have no other attraction or reason for keeping the field than a trifle of stipend, which is not sufficient to make them willing to die for you. They are ready enough to be your soldiers whilst you do not make war, but if war comes they take themselves off or run from the foe; which I should have little trouble to prove, for the ruin of Italy has been caused by nothing else than by resting all her hopes for many years on mercenaries, and although they formerly made some display and appeared valiant amongst themselves, yet when the foreigners came they showed what they were.

                Irregardless, you've misunderestimated how different it is to fight and die compared to fight and kill.

                1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds

                  Re: Political self-obsession and onanism

                  Machiavelli was writing just when Venice was losing its power. But I wasn't being entirely serious citing an example that's almost a thousand years old.

                  "Irregardless, you've misunderestimated how different it is to fight and die compared to fight and kill."

                  Not at all. You've overestimated, by a huge margin, the ratio of people in the military who actually do any fighting to those supporting the frontline troops logistically. You can outsource support roles.

                  1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                    Re: Political self-obsession and onanism

                    "You can outsource support roles."

                    Hence the locals[1] name for a certain airbase, BAE Conningsby :-)

                    [1] that would be the resident armed forces.

              2. Cederic Silver badge

                Re: Political self-obsession and onanism

                Subcontract, instead of doing it for profit anyway (see the US contribution to most of WWII) or for doing it no matter the cost (see the UK's contribution to both world wars and indeed the US contribution to help end both)?

                Since nobody else in NATO is pulling their weight I'm afraid your point on that esteemed organisation feels rather misguided.

            4. Tom Paine Silver badge

              Re: Political self-obsession and onanism

              "doing well" is doing a LOT of lifting there.

        2. Dwarf Silver badge

          Re: Political self-obsession and onanism

          @obiwan (please check how to spell this - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obi-Wan_Kenobi)

          There is a big difference between link speed and data throughput, so you can have a gigabit link (at layer 2) but only get a 1Mbps data rate at layer 3 due to congestion / rate limiting etc.

          This is common on networks. Try and order a 200Mbs link from a telco, they will deliver it over Gigabit Ethernet but rate limit you to the 200Mbps you ordered.

          For things like broadband, this is why they have the 20:1 and 50:1 contention ratios for business and personal use respectively.

          1. AndrueC Silver badge
            Happy

            Re: Political self-obsession and onanism

            For things like broadband, this is why they have the 20:1 and 50:1 contention ratios for business and personal use respectively.

            Broadband provision ceased to have a specific ratio a while back, around when 'up to' came into being. It no longer made any sense. Now capacity provision is based on the level of complaints being received or (the more expensive ISPs) predicting usage growth patterns. Basically a particular route gets upgraded as/when it 'needs it' rather than on the basis of a numeric ratio.

            Underpinning most of this is openreach and they seem to do a pretty good job of late of keeping up with CP's bandwidth requests. Getting rid of the cumbersome 'central's probably helped.

        3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Political self-obsession and onanism

          "the plan is to provide FTTP for every home"

          The headline word is "broadband". Even if anything else is babbled you'd probably find that ADSL counts as broad band and if you wait in the queue you can be connected up in a couple of years time and use it 3 days a week.

        4. John Sager

          Re: Political self-obsession and onanism

          Er, no. You forgot the backhaul. That's much bigger pipes that also have to be paid for. So although your bit of fibre might do several Gb/sec on a good day, the backhaul investment will limit everyone to the 30 Mb/sec target figure (except for the Nomenklatura) because, after all, we are all equal under the new régime, aren't we?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Political self-obsession and onanism

      >The reason BT was privatised in the first place is that every time the telephone network needed major investment the Treasury had kittens about public borrowing and the plans were scaled back and shelved

      Not true, privatisation was a political decision to raise cash while lowering taxation - the preferred option by the commission and most experts was funding via a bonds issue (The Busby Bond) as much of the telephone network would always run at (sometimes enormous) loss.

      Unsurprisingly BT consumes vast amounts of public funds but still fails to provide decent service when it's unprofitable - if they had to stand alone as a private company, in fact even if OFCOM were given the teeth to require the service level expected currently, BT would have collapsed years ago.

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: Political self-obsession and onanism

        BT were awful before they were privatised. Yes they did some clever technology, but they were hideously expensive and hard to deal with. You could wait 3 months to get a new landline connected and in the early 80s even local calls cost something like 40p a minute! National rate was about 60p. I think an answerphone was something insane like £1,000 - and you had to buy BT's one as you weren't allowed to connect your own to their network. Not that it stopped everybody.

        The Post Office have been well-run, and mostly profitable for ages - and probably didn't need to be. So it's not like it's impossible to run a nationalised company well. But there's a reason BT got the chop, and relatively early in Thatcher's tenure too.

        1. Andre Carneiro

          Re: Political self-obsession and onanism

          Surely some of that is also down to the relatively expensive and immature technology of the time?

          I can imagine that providing a POTS in the 80s would be orders of magnitude more expensive than it is now?

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Political self-obsession and onanism

        "privatisation was a political decision"

        The political aspect came in when the privatised BT was not allowed to move into cable. That it, not until the supposedly more commercial businesses had shown their commercialism in the extent to which they were going to limit their efforts to cherry picked areas. The BT was brought in late and more or less simultaneously berated for not having the universal fibre network it had been forbidden to build.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Political self-obsession and onanism

          >The political aspect came in when the privatised BT was not allowed to move into cable.

          I presume you mean fibre not cable - former was on the cards way back in the 80s. Thatcher's dream was always that private companies would build the infrastructure, BT's dream was that the Government would cover the roll out cost and then allow them to reap the profit.

          Elsewhere in the world forward thinking governments invested tax payers money in public-owned infrastructure and moved far ahead.

    4. Timmy B Silver badge

      Re: Political self-obsession and onanism

      "Even Boris Johnson has to be right occasionally."

      Do you actually watch the news? Or listen to him? He's such a bumbling stuttering fool that I'm amazed anyone understands a word. Let alone know if he's right or wrong about anything.

      Oh.... perhaps that's the master plan!

    5. Venerable and Fragrant Wind of Change

      Re: Political self-obsession and onanism

      I don't follow. What's particularly right about Boris's onanism? I thought that was just another dead cat: it certainly got the BBC talking about a total irrelevance.

    6. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Political self-obsession and onanism

      "barely understand"

      I think you're overestimating them.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Political self-obsession and onanism

      I don't know what's worse, telling people these lies with a straight face or actually believing that it will only cost £20bn.

      Did Diane Abbott do the calculations ?

    8. Rol Silver badge

      Re: Political self-obsession and onanism

      Sure. If broadband was nationalised without any thought to funding, it would be a disaster, but if the tax income from Google et al was ring-fenced and BB was allowed to operate as a business with some very stringent obligations written into its deeds, we could then see the network operating at a profit, and paying its taxes.

      1. SImon Hobson Silver badge

        Re: Political self-obsession and onanism

        That's a lot of "IF"s there - and IMO you might was well add : and if pigs could fly ...

  5. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

    Loony

    I get the 'nationalise openretch' part - it's labour's policy to nationalise everything - you don't have to agree with it (I don't) but that's what they do. But what I don't get is the bit about nationalising BT retail and BT consumer. That's going to kill a lot of companies who actually offer a better service than BT retails and BT consumer (which is a lot, especially for business). What about the thousands of companies in contracts? It's like the took a noble idea (get britain all connected to Fibre), added a Labour spin (we will pay entirely for it) and the mess it up by saying 'Free broadband for all'. Just because it's fibre doesn't mean it's any good.

    1. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: Loony

      Agreed, nationalising OpenReach would make some sense, especially when you look at how much money the government throws at them already to try and get better-than-wet-string connectivity outside the M25. If it's already a national priority, why not cut out the middleman and just have part of the government do it instead?

      Not sure about "British Broadband" though, why not just go back to calling it the GPO?

      1. AndrueC Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Loony

        Not sure about "British Broadband" though, why not just go back to calling it the GPO?

        Probably for the same reason no-one wants to rename Sellafield to Windscale ;)

      2. Graham Dawson Silver badge

        Re: Loony

        Have you see where the government spends all its money? It sure ain't outside the M25.

  6. Stumpy

    In other news, we're also all going to get a free Unicorn each, and our farts will smell of Rainbows and Candy-floss.

    1. Simon 15

      like this?

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JITpUxtji4s

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Happy

      Bring back Ed Miliband! I want my free owl!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You sound childish. Got any real analysis of why this isn't good?

  7. seanj

    Ahhh the good old days...

    Back to a 6 month wait for an engineer to set you up because they're all on strike again.

    1. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

      Re: Ahhh the good old days...

      "Back to a 6 month wait for an engineer to set you up because they're all on strike again." - like our customer in Wales two years ago who had to wait 6 months to get a phone line put in. A phone line with 512Kbps "broadband".

      Admittedly, they installed full fat fibre a few months later with only a three-month wait.

    2. Venerable and Fragrant Wind of Change

      Re: Ahhh the good old days...

      I've been waiting more than two months already.

      Thank goodness for 4G - even if it falls regularly to 2G or to nothing and needs rebooting sometimes several times a day.

  8. jpo234

    Labor is pro-remain, right?

    Would such a move be compatible with EU regulations? A simple Google (Ha!) search found this: https://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/sources/conferences/state-aid/broadband_rulesexplained.pdf

    "Thus, compatibility with internal market requirements is a key building block of competition policy in Europe. A guiding principle is that any State intervention should limit as much as possible the risk of crowding out or replacing private investments, of altering commercial investment incentives and ultimately of distorting competition as this is viewed as contrary to the common interest of the European Union."

    1. SkippyBing Silver badge

      'Labour is pro-remain, right?'

      I think they're Schrodinger's Brexit. Their apparent policy is to negotiate a better Brexit deal which they'll then put to a referendum where they'll campaign against it. Actually that makes Schrodinger sound simple.

      1. LucreLout Silver badge

        Their apparent policy is to negotiate a better Brexit deal which they'll then put to a referendum where they'll campaign against it.

        That's not a policy, its fear. Their party is split between their Northern heartlands who demand Brexit, and their younger southern voters who think Corbyn is cool, who want to remain. We can't do both (leaving with a deal is the only available compromise over leaving without one or remaining in) so they're desperately hoping the "brain dead red" parts of the country will wake up on polling day and follow family tradition. After all, nobody really knows why great grandad voted labour, but its what the family have done ever since.

        My home town (Sunderland) is, to be frank, a shithole. It's been a shithole through blue governments, and red. But every election they vote "red or dead" with seemingly no clue that in order for things to change, they have to change who they vote for. Swing seats get investment, 100 year baronies do not. Labour treat my home city with utter contempt and yet still, still the locals can't see past a red rosette. It's all very sad.

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          LucreLout,

          I'm not sure it's true that Labour's northern support are leave-voters. I mean there's more of them up up there, but in polling Labour voters are something like 65% remain voters. Remember that a lot of the leave vote came from people who previously didn't actually vote - and probably haven't for a while, as general election turnouts have dropped to around upper 60s from the mid 70s over the years.

          So although there are a good number of Labour leavers, and they tend to be older and more Northern (and don't forget the Midlands and to a lesser extent Wales) - still most leavers are either Conservative voters or traditional non-voters.

          Though it's also true that I think Labour held most of the top ten remain voting constituencies in England in 2015 - as well as most of the top ten leave ones.

          I think their real problem is that the voters are still 65% remain, and the members are about 90% remain - but the leadership team are mostly leavers of the Bennite mould.

          Though as you say, none of this privatisation can be legal if it reaches the ECJ, with Parliament setting the prices - which would make it pretty awkward to stay in the EU and have these policies.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Labour voters are something like 65% remain voters.

            70% of constituencies with Labour MPs voted Leave.

            1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

              Labour voters are something like 65% remain voters.

              70% of constituencies with Labour MPs voted Leave.

              Yes. But those constituencies also have other voters in them. Hence a minority of Labour voters (35%) added to the smaller number of Tories and others can beat the rest of the Labour vote. Plus the 10% ish of voters that came out for the referendum that didn't normally vote.

              Also remember that Europe isn't everything. About 10% of the voters the Lib Dems lost between 2010 and 2015 went to UKIP! So they were previously voting for the most pro-EU party out there. Presumably because they were "anti-politics" voters, surprised when the Lib Dems went into actual government.

              One of Corbyn's problems is that the Labour working class voter might see him as a tad unpatriotic. And maybe switch. After all Thatcher did pretty well with working class voters, it's how she got such big majorities.

              In 2017 a lot of voters didn't like either party - but voted tactically anyway. Can Labour get back to 40% again this election? I doubt it.

              1. wallyhall

                And someone mentions Brexit.

                :-)

                https://i.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/newsfeed/000/353/279/e31.jpg

            2. DavCrav Silver badge

              "70% of constituencies with Labour MPs voted Leave."

              It's amazing how you can find out this stuff when the count wasn't done by constituencies.

          2. Dave314159ggggdffsdds

            "still most leavers are either Conservative voters or traditional non-voters."

            Wishful thinking. Completely untrue, by all the evidence. Next you'll be telling us poor people were too stupid to know what they were voting for.

            Reality is actually that we didn't have a real referendum, we had a ridiculous social media style popularity contest between Nasty Nige and the EU, which unsurprisingly came out even because no-one _likes_ either. That didn't say anything about who we want to run the country.

            1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

              "still most leavers are either Conservative voters or traditional non-voters."

              Wishful thinking. Completely untrue, by all the evidence. Next you'll be telling us poor people were too stupid to know what they were voting for.

              Dave,

              My evidence is that Labour voters have consistently polled for remain in the mid 60% range. Which is most, by any definition.

              Whereas Tory voters are more than 70% leave.

              I'm not saying that Labour won't lose seats by becoming a remainer party. But not as many as it looks like they're going to lose this election by not being. Although in the last week polls have moved and Labour are up around 30% - mostly at the expense of the Lib Dems. But then the Conservatives are now polling around 40% - having nicked a smilar number of voters from the Brexit party.

              I think turnout will be key. Will anti-Corbyn Labour voters turn out because they're even more anti-Johnson?

              The difference this time is that Corbyn is down from 2017's -20% net approval ratings to worse than -40%. i.e. about 20% approve of him and 60% disapprove. With 20% don't know.

              Johnson is about net evens. 40% for and against. Trump polls better than Corbyn - there's an awful thought...

              I made no comment about deluded leavers. I made a non-partisan comment about the polling. As disclosure I decided to vote leave the day the ECB illegally shut down the Greek banking system in order to force their government into total capitulation rather than negotiate a reasonable deal - which the Troika and Eurogroup had refused to even negotiate about for 9 months beforehand. Even though the IMF debt sustainability report was published a week later, proving that the Greeks were right and the Troika knew their policies had failed in the worst economic fuckup in modern peacetime economic history. Before that I was a reluctant remainer - and that's how I'd probably have voted. All the same tactics were used in the Brexit withdrawal negotiations, and so I feel I was proved right - though my preferred settlement would have been something like the Norway option.

              1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds

                You said most leave voters were Con/other, which isn't the flipside of most Labour supporters being remain. The majority of both leave and remain supporters have no fixed allegiance to any party, in line with the population as a whole.

                The single biggest group in the referendum was the non-voters, if we include those who didn't even register to vote - turnout was 72% of registered voters, but that's only 32 million or so out of an adult - voting age - population of over 50 million. We really ought to pay more attention to the people who effectively said 'this is too silly to participate in'.

                1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

                  Dave,

                  If non-voters can't be arsed to participate, then they've got nothing to complain about.

                  Because if you're a non-voter you can vote your conscience and not worry about tactical voting, because you already don't mind who wins. That way minor parties have a chance of becoming mainstream - which tactical voting in first-past-the-post elections makes much harder.

                  Society works because large groups of people cooperate. That means sometimes you have obligations. Voting is a pretty basic part of democracy, and democracy is the worst system in the world, except for all the others.

                  1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds

                    Bollocks. Nothing to do with not being bothered. If you vote, you're giving them a mandate. What would happen if they threw an election but nobody came?

                    Sometimes, withholding your vote is the right thing to do. Other times, you have to vote to make e.g. Nazis lose their deposit, but there are no acceptable real candidates, so you vote tactically for the MRLP or whoever.

                    "democracy is the worst system in the world, except for all the others."

                    The wording is 'all the others we've tried'. It was never intended to be a statement that FPTP parliamentary democracy is the best we can come up with. The basic idea of democracy is to give everyone an equal say in decisions, but no system used in practice has actually achieved that. Personally I think the thing to do is to turn voting rights into property and allow people to sell them ;)

                2. LucreLout Silver badge

                  We really ought to pay more attention to the people who effectively said 'this is too silly to participate in'.

                  If you don't vote then you have agreed to side with the winner, whoever it is and whatever the vote was about. That's how it works. What you can't have is the losers adding them to their side and saying "only 34% voted for this", well, no or the vote wouldn't have passed.

                  The only workable alternative to that is to entirely discount those that didn't vote, because either they didn't give a stuff about whatever the issue was, or they were too slow to make up their mind.

                  1. DavCrav Silver badge

                    "If you don't vote then you have agreed to side with the winner, whoever it is and whatever the vote was about. That's how it works."

                    Not really. If you don't like any of the options available, you can legitimately not vote and then say it's because all options were shit. For example, people who don't vote in a rigged election aren't agreeing to go along with the dictator.

                    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

                      DavCrav,

                      That's true, but then we don't have a dictator. And you could always vote Monster Raving Looney as a placeholder until a better party comes along. But you've already often got the choice of the big two plus Green, Lib Dem, UKIP, BNP, Brexit, TUSC or some other flavour of socialist - plus various other choices in Scotland and Wales. If you can't find one of those to go for, then perhaps there's no pleasing you.

                      As for the specific case the OP raised of the referendum - then it was a pure binary choice. If you're happy (enough) with EU membership, vote remain - if not vote leave. It's a pure binary choice. Obviously there could be various flavours of leave, but if you think the risk of getting one of those you don't like is too high, then again, you vote remain.

                      If you don't vote - then you get whatever the winning side voted for.

                      1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds

                        "If you're happy (enough) with EU membership, vote remain - if not vote leave. It's a pure binary choice."

                        What if the question was invalid, and didn't actually offer what the politicians claimed the choices were? What if it was blatantly obvious that the ongoing farce which ensued was the only possible outcome?

                        I don't believe for a moment that the politicians had any moral right to offer such an obviously flawed referendum and I have serious doubts as to whether it was wise to legitimise their farce by voting in it.

                        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

                          Davenumbers,

                          So are you saying that we're not allowed to vote to leave the EU then? Because leaving is impossible? In which case we're no longer a democracy and what's the point?

                          Now to criticise the referendum campaign is perfectly fair. Leave were all sunny and optimistic - and of course being split on what they wanted weren't offering a standard policy. Whereas remain were incredibly depressing, failed to put much of the positive case for the EU and used such apocalyptic levels of threats of doom to the economy that it approaches falsehood. For example, we're 3-4% of GDP poorer since voting for Brexit - according to lots of reports - and yet our economy has grown faster than Germany (and the Eurozone average) in that time. Which makes no sense - because we've been repeatedly told that we're of only peripheral importance to their economy - and our loss of jobs would be their gain.

                          The referendum shouldn't have been allowed point is the one I have zero patience with. We could have solved it by a general election, but it's a cross party issue - as the last election proved - and this one might as well.

                          1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds

                            That particular referendum was a load of bollocks. It's perfectly possible to ask sensible questions, they just didn't do it.

                  2. Dave314159ggggdffsdds

                    I didn't add the nonvoters to either side. I pointed out they're actually the biggest bloc.

                    Take it to an extreme: if only 1 person had voted in the referendum, whichever side they cast their vote for would have had an overwhelming - 100% - share of the vote, but that still wouldn't constitute a democratic mandate.

                    Turnouts above a certain level are necessary for the continuance of the current political mess. The only tool we have left when politicians aren't fit for purpose is to withhold our votes - unless we can persuade the turkeys to vote for Christmas and change the voting system.

                    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

                      We had a referendum on the alternative vote system - and it lost. And yes I'm aware it's not PR, but it's a start. Then the Lib Dems - whose policy is electoral reform and more coalition governments - got slaughtered at the next election for being in a coalition government.

                      And quite frankly I think for most non-voters it's an excuse. Nobody wants to say, I can't be arsed to think about the issues and walk the half mile from my house to a polling station. So if asked, they say that "they're all the same" or "they're only out for themselves" or some other self-justificatory bullshit.

                      Find someone to vote for, then maybe they'll grow their support and others will join you. Or stand yourself. Or vote for the least worst, which at least gets you closer to where you want to be. And at least drags the losing parties closer to your position, as they try to recover from losing.

                      Politics is like the Rolling Stones said. You can't always get what you want.

                      1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds

                        'The' alternative vote system? Just 'an' alternative. The turkeys wouldn't let us vote for Christmas, obviously.

                        There's a reason politicians hate having RON on ballot papers: it interferes with their political machines.

          3. LucreLout Silver badge

            I'm not sure it's true that Labour's northern support are leave-voters.

            Well, my town voted 83% leave. I'd say that's fairly committed given that's more people than voted labour, even in the Socialist Peoples Paradise of Sunderland.

            most leavers are either Conservative voters or traditional non-voters.

            That's only true in the south. Up North and in the midlands most leave voters were labour voters; they had to be because there weren't enough Conservative voters to deliver those mandates - many many brain dead red constituencies.

            Though it's also true that I think Labour held most of the top ten remain voting constituencies in England in 2015 - as well as most of the top ten leave ones.

            Yup but the remain ones are mostly London(ish) with a high percentage of youngsters, which was my point. Northern heartlands Vs young south - the party is trying to play each off against the next in a blind pursuit of power with absolutely zero idea how to reconcile that once they're in #10, which is all they actually care about.

            Though as you say, none of this privatisation can be legal if it reaches the ECJ

            Legal or not they simply can't afford it. Parliament can't set the prices because those firms are owned in the main by private sector tax payers in their pensions. Nationalizing them at anything less than full market rate would be theft of our pensions, which simply won't wash.

            1. DavCrav Silver badge

              "Well, my town voted 83% leave. I'd say that's fairly committed given that's more people than voted labour, even in the Socialist Peoples Paradise of Sunderland."

              I don't believe you, at least for now. On this Wikipedia page I cannot find anywhere with a Leave voting in the 80%s. So either you are somewhere that isn't on that webpage, or you are wrong.

              1. Cederic Silver badge

                In the referendum Sunderland voted 61% to leave, although just under 83000 votes were cast to leave, which is an interesting coincidence.

                However in the 2017 general election 92.8% of voters in Sunderland Central voted for a party promising to leave the EU.

            2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

              LucreLout,

              I didn't say that Labour wouldn't lose seats going more remain. What I said is that most decent polling analysis I've seen suggests they lose more seats going leave than they do remain. Because the loss of seats up North is overstated - because so many of their supporters did vote Remain.

              As you say, Corbyn's strategy has been the deeply cynical one of trying to have no policy on the biggest issue in British politics in a generation - and try to ride that ambiguity to Downing Street.

              However I also believe that there's a deeper cynicism at play. As the Guardian published bits from a report shown to the Shadow Cabinet about not going full remain with an exaggerated loss of Northern seats that most polling people I'd read didn't believe the polls agreed with. Corbyn's team are possibly leavers - trying to delay their own party from backing remain until it was too late - despite members being 90% remain and despite his pledge that he believed in bringing back internal party democracy. Or they didn't really care that much about it, but wanted leave to happen on Tory watch, hoping for a disaster so they could have a landslide and bring in "proper socialism" red in tooth and claw.

              That's broadly my opinion - a sort of a combination of the two. That a clique of the hard left, quite a few of them revolutionary socialists who want to overthrow capitalism care more about that than anything else, and have successfully captured a major party to do it. Corbyn is of the fluffier Bennite persuasion, but as Tony Benn said, "there should be no enemies on the left". i.e. allying with communists is OK, because at least they're not evil Tories. So even as a generally Conservative voter, I feel quite sorry for ordinary Labour Party members - because they've been put in a really difficult situation, and they lose all chance of getting the policies they want on Brexit (which they deeply care about) - because they let their party be taken over.

              1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds

                "Corbyn's strategy has been the deeply cynical one of trying to have no policy on the biggest issue in British politics in a generation"

                No, Corbyn basically shares the ERG view on Brexit, except he thinks they're a bit liberal on trade. He has been muzzled by his advisers because admitting that would seriously threaten his tenure as leader. But it's been widely covered nonetheless.

                Even taking it at face value, Corbynism is illegal under EU law in too many ways to count. Brexit is fundamental to a Corbynist government.

        2. DuncanLarge Silver badge

          > voters who think Corbyn is cool

          I have died a little

          1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds

            >> voters who think Corbyn is cool

            > I have died a little

            So has Corbyn...

            https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=RfE0rFuvHBU

          2. Wilseus

            "> voters who think Corbyn is cool

            I have died a little"

            I think 'cool' might be a misspelling.

        3. Gary Heard

          On the button

          @LoucreLout Your comment hits home, too many people are fixed in their voting, so sort of "idealistic stupor" that makes them think idiots (Left or Right) are suitable for office. Back in the 70's (shows my age I know) I helped Plaid Cymru reduce Labours majority in Merthyr Tydfil from 25,000+ to under 4,000.... Result, investment in Merthyr was announced by the (then Labour) government. Now? A donkey could be the Labour candidate and he's still win. People don't learn.

      2. Dave314159ggggdffsdds

        They have said the Brexit deal they want, and will offer a referendum on if they get, is full alignment with the EU, and remain in the customs union. So the choices on offer will be to stay in the EU, or to stay in the EU but give up any day in how it's run. That's not a choice, it's just the usual political dishonesty.

        1. psychonaut

          Oh God yes this. "Leave"the EU but follow all the rules. Fucking idiots. Either leave or dont. Dont give up what we already have and follow the fucking rules which we now cant change. Leave or dont. Remainers and leavers surely dont want a scenario where we are still in a customs union but unable to alter anything ever?

          1. Tom Paine Silver badge

            And not unnaturally if we refuse to follow "rules", we're not going to be able to sell them stuff. Just like we in the UK don't want things like chicken that's had to be washed in chlorine because it's lousy with bacteria because they're kept in such horrible conditions.

    2. Jedit
      Boffin

      "Labor is pro-remain, right?"

      No. Labour is pro-will of the people on Brexit, with the caveat that the people should be properly and fully informed of the consequences before they make a decision and thus should have the right to change their minds if they were not. Despite its many benefits the EU is a shamelessly neoliberal organisation, so Labour won't shed too many tears if we do leave as long as the country isn't harmed in the process.

      So far as EU regulations go, they of course won't apply if we do leave the EU. However, we may not yet leave. If we do remain, the important thing to note about that regulation is that it says state intervention should be limited *as much as possible*. If the free market and commercial investment were both interested in providing a full national fibre network and able to do so, even paid for by the user, they've had plenty of time to do it. It seems reasonably obvious that if the State wants to achieve the goal of 100% fibre broadband coverage, it's going to have to do it itself.

      Lastly: in this modern era the data network should be considered an essential part of national infrastructure. As such it is too important to be privately controlled.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Labor is pro-remain, right?"

        > pro-will of the people on Brexit

        You do realise that the people have been waiting 3 years for their will to be respected?

        And the reason we have been waiting 3 years is t do with, guess who.

        Ok well that May deal was a non starter to begin with but still...

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: "Labor is pro-remain, right?"

          "ou do realise that the people have been waiting 3 years for their will to be respected?"

          Which will was that? The will of the more or less half that wanted to leave or that of the more or less half who didn't?

          The impasse of the last few years has been the consequence of the fact that you need a decisive majority for a change that fundamental, say something like 2:1. Apart from the gung-ho ERG types I suspect most of the rest of the MPs are looking over their shoulders at the electoral consequences of a disrupted economy.

          1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

            Re: "Labor is pro-remain, right?"

            you need a decisive majority for a change that fundamental, say something like 2:1

            If only they'd applied that rule to the creation of the EU as well.

          2. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: "Labor is pro-remain, right?"

            @Doctor Syntax

            "The will of the more or less half that wanted to leave or that of the more or less half who didn't?"

            More not less. The vote was to leave. Its not even debatable its a total value consisting of a vote on 2 options to which one option gained over 50% of the vote as specified as the threshold for a result.

            "The impasse of the last few years has been the consequence of the fact that you need a decisive majority for a change that fundamental"

            Aka the rejection of democracy by those who live in a country supposedly under democratic rule. Democracy requiring those who lose the vote to accept the result.

            1. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
              Stop

              Re: "Labor is pro-remain, right?"

              Democracy requiring those who lose the vote to accept the result

              Losers' consent is earned. It is not a right nor mandatory.

              If it were; one would have no right of recourse when one lost everything in a rigged card game or any other scam.

              There were so many lies, and so much bait and switch, which conned people into voting leave, who would not have done so if they had known the truth, that I cannot and will never respect the result.

              1. codejunky Silver badge

                Re: "Labor is pro-remain, right?"

                @Jason Bloomberg

                "Losers' consent is earned. It is not a right nor mandatory."

                Then it is not democracy. It must be mandatory for the result to be respected if it is democratic otherwise it is autocratic aka thanks for your opinion now shove off. The unfortunate situation here is the demand for autocratic rule as long as it fits the minority view. Aka not democracy.

                "If it were; one would have no right of recourse when one lost everything in a rigged card game or any other scam."

                But there was no scam. There was a vote which had the usual political bull on both sides but also direct threat against the population by the government, and they still lost. With such an attempt to rig the vote and still losing the result is fairly clear.

                "There were so many lies, and so much bait and switch, which conned people into voting leave, who would not have done so if they had known the truth, that I cannot and will never respect the result."

                Leave lied their arses off. The official leave campaign was so bad I at first thought they were purposefully trying to lose (until I saw the remain campaign). The remain campaign not only lied but used the power of government to directly threaten the population. After 3 votes on this most important topic leave has won consistently. The result isnt in question, only why it hasnt happened yet.

                1. LucreLout Silver badge

                  Re: "Labor is pro-remain, right?"

                  It must be mandatory for the result to be respected

                  ^^^

                  This.

                  For democracy to work, with any parties and on any subject, the losers MUST capitulate and accept defeat. The will of the majority MUST be enacted or democracy no longer works.

                  Democracy is literally the tyranny of the many over the few. The alternative is actual tyranny.

                2. myithingwontcharge

                  Re: "Labor is pro-remain, right?"

                  "The remain campaign not only lied but used the power of government to directly threaten the population."

                  We're talking about the EU referendum not the Scottish independence one.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: "Labor is pro-remain, right?"

                    We're talking about the EU referendum not the Scottish independence one.

                    In other words, it didnt go the way you wanted, so obviously the winners lied? Not a very original position, and still not a valid one.

              2. Joe Montana

                Re: "Labor is pro-remain, right?"

                Democracy is always like that when scaled up to an entire country, people don't understand what they're voting for and the masses are easily controlled by the media.

              3. TheVogon Silver badge

                Re: "Labor is pro-remain, right?"

                We are all looking forward to laughing at the remoaners again when Boris wins and they have another loosers stomp through London.

          3. Wandering Reader
            Coat

            Re: "Labor is pro-remain, right?"

            "The impasse of the last few years has been the consequence of the fact that you need a decisive majority for a change that fundamental, say something like 2:1."

            Well, you can tell Nicola Sturgeon about your new rules for Indyref 2. I'll hold your coat

          4. TheVogon Silver badge

            Re: "Labor is pro-remain, right?"

            The will of the majority.of voters.

        2. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

          Re: "Labor is pro-remain, right?"

          Quote

          You do realise that the people have been waiting 3 years for their will to be respected?

          And the reason we have been waiting 3 years is t do with, guess who.

          Ok well that May deal was a non starter to begin with but still...

          ---

          The guess who is down to bojo the clown and his ERG type loony tories

          May did a deal.... labour/lib/snp against it

          Tory party has a majority May's deal fails because TORIES voted it down

          May quits (dont blame her)

          bojo the clown takes over , does another deal (basically mays with an amendment or 2)

          Labour/libs/snp against it

          Tory party has a majority... TORIES vote down bojo's deal too

          The tories are to blame for the brexit clusterfuck, its almost as if they didn't want to leave the EU at all

          And perhaps with hindsight, we'd been better off with labour in charge and doing the leave deal (or the liberals....... or the SNP.... or the monster raving loony party) than the tories

        3. DavCrav Silver badge

          Re: "Labor is pro-remain, right?"

          "And the reason we have been waiting 3 years is t do with, guess who."

          Ooh, ooh, I know! It's to do with the fact that it's really hard and politicians aren't really up for mass shortages on their watch, so have been delaying while trying to work out how to do it without killing a bunch of people.

    3. Wellyboot Silver badge

      Labour, Pro remain? That rather depends on which constituency you are in when you ask. (London yes, rest of country - not so much)

      Leaving the EU is the only way most of the recent promised spendfest could happen. EU rules tie governments into a de-nationalising, no-subsidy, policy set. Unless the plan is to stay and then blame the EU for not being able to implement the promises like previous UK govts have done for decades.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      >Would such a move be compatible with EU regulations

      Yep, network infrastructure is specifically excluded from State Aid rules - all EU states (including ours this Government has already handed £1.7 Billion of tax payers cash to BT) fund massive infrastructure publicly (but most others have the sense to maintain ownership) as meeting the Broadband Europe targets is not achievable on a commercial basis (it would take many decades to recover the cost from consumers directly)

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Anon,

        But you aren't allowed to sieze the assets of private investors and not pay them. So nationalising companies means paying for them.

        1. Thoguht Silver badge

          Unfortunately, you are allowed. Property rights were tacked on as an afterthought to the ECHR, and are very weak indeed. Basically, as long as the government passes a law to say that what's yours is theirs, that's about it.

          1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds

            Corbyn has openly stated that he doesn't believe in the ECoHR, and that it's the main reason he wants to leave the EU.

            1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              ECHR is not an EU court, that's the ECJ. I don't think that any of our politicians like the idea of any external authority that keeps them on the straight and narrow - which is an excellent argument for the ECHR, the EU, the ECJ and anything else like that.

              1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds

                European _convention_ on HR - not from the EU, but signing up to it (and its court system) is a prerequisite for membership. The convention is actually British justice, imposed upon Europe after the Second World War.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Nationalisation is compatible with state aid rules, just ask France

    6. Steve K Silver badge

      Labour is pro-remain, right?

      No, Corbyn is sitting on the fence here at a party level, but Corbyn himself is actually most likely really Leave at heart.

  9. Captain Hogwash
    FAIL

    "prevent the use of digital infrastructure for surveillance"

    Thus making raising any significant sums of money via this impossible:

    "The party's plans are for the fund to tax multinational corporations such as Amazon, Facebook and Google"

    1. Bonzo_red

      Re: "prevent the use of digital infrastructure for surveillance"

      I would be somewhat concerned if a neo-communist government were to have control of the nation's digital infrastructure.

      1. Captain Hogwash

        Re: "prevent the use of digital infrastructure for surveillance"

        I'm not sure what your point is. Mine is that they clearly haven't thought any of this through and should be seen as a bunch of incompetents looking for headlines. Spooks will use the infrastructure for surveillance, as they always have, regardless of whether or not they have special dispensation. Private companies, who's entire business model relies on surveillance, will no longer be able to operate legally in the UK (or will need to operate in a manner which drastically reduces their profits.) Therefore it will not be possible to raise (sufficient) taxes on their profits. That's before we get into the practicalities of whether public or private ownership is more capable of running the whole thing, or which is more likely to result in wider coverage in the longer term.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Marx would be proud

    BT will receive bonds for a chunk of the company I and many others have shares in. Labour will effectively borrow from us shareholders and then spend at least £20 billion to provide us with "free" broadband by increasing our taxes. This is nuts. Has Comrade Corbyn announced where the politbureau and gulags will be built?

    1. SkippyBing Silver badge

      Re: Marx would be proud

      You're forgetting the re-education camps, which obviously you'll be attending for not realising the glorious benefits of this scheme comrade.

    2. Nevermind
      Joke

      Has Comrade Corbyn announced where the politbureau and gulags will be built?

      I nominate the Isle of Wight....just because it's there

    3. Mog_X

      Re: Marx would be proud

      "We won't buy your shares on the open stock market, but we'll change the rules and set the price to what we want and you have no choice but to accept this"

      ..

      short time later

      ..

      "Why are all these companies pulling out of Britain?"

      1. Venerable and Fragrant Wind of Change

        Re: Marx would be proud

        Funny. Didn't happen after Northern Rock or Railtrack.

        Not that I'm condoning it, mind. Bet the country on fibre and you'll stifle alternatives, some of which already exist. Not to mention the lessons of history in nationalised disasters.

      2. DuncanLarge Silver badge

        Re: Marx would be proud

        > Why are all these companies pulling out of Britain?

        Corbyn will say its because of Trump

        1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds

          Re: Marx would be proud

          No, Corbyn will blame it on 'the elites', 'the bankers', 'the Zionists', or whatever other codeword for 'the Jews' he's come up with this week.

    4. LucreLout Silver badge

      Re: Marx would be proud

      BT will receive bonds for a chunk of the company I and many others have shares in.

      Labour literally don't understand that issuing bonds IS printing money. The last election McMao was blathering on about not printing money but issuing bonds instead, as though the two were somehow different.

      1. Peter D

        Re: Marx would be proud

        "Labour literally don't understand that issuing bonds IS printing money"

        They also don't realise that a publicly traded company like BT would have no interest in holding tens of billions of pounds in gilts. If even 20% of labour issued commie bonds were converted to useable cash the bond markets would be flooded to devastating effect. Of course, Labour would avoid that horror by nationalising companies with instruments which are not openly tradeable effectively just stealing corporate assets.

      2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: Marx would be proud

        LucreLout,

        Issuing bonds isn't quite the same as printing money. Because they have to be paid back. So you're replacing one asset with another. Unless they invent special bonds with no interest or maturity - in which case they're not even printing money they're just expropriating private property. Also that asset will be matched to a hopefully profitable company - who can cover the interest. So you can argue that although government debt has gone up, so have the government's assets.

        In practise I'm sure this will fall apart. Firstly because government debt doesn't work the same way as private debt - and the measure everyone uses is the debt to GDP ratio and not the governments assets. Because it's the economy that has to cover the interest payments to keep the show on the road. So in practise the price of government bonds will fall, which means that the interest rate will go up. And then how do you service this huge new debt?

        However doing QE and having the bonds directly bought from government by the Bank of England is directly printing money - and they also plan to do that.

        1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds

          Re: Marx would be proud

          They don't need to go into convolutions to steal the assets. Simply give, in exchange, bonds linked to profitability, and then run the business into the ground so the bonds are all-but worthless before buying them back at 'market value'.

        2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Marx would be proud

          "Also that asset will be matched to a hopefully profitable company"

          Hope is about as close to profitable as a nationalised industry would get. And a faint hope at that.

        3. LucreLout Silver badge

          Re: Marx would be proud

          Issuing bonds isn't quite the same as printing money. Because they have to be paid back.

          Yes but where it becomes the magic money tree is that they simply print new bonds to pay back the old. Think about it - when did any labour government ever leave the power with more money than when it came to power? The answer is never. Labour governments end when they bankrupt the country - they literally all have.

          Something they can't afford on day one is only going to be affordable on their last day if they've completely trashed its utility.

          However doing QE and having the bonds directly bought from government by the Bank of England is directly printing money - and they also plan to do that.

          The problem is that the interest payments on the debt the last labour government ran up now cost more than national defence. We literally can't afford another one because we're still paying for the last one.

          1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds

            Re: Marx would be proud

            "where it becomes the magic money tree is that they simply print new bonds to pay back the old"

            No, that's just government debt. The Magic Money Tree is actually the idea that the only reason we don't just print money to fund the government is that some nefarious international conspiracy of 'bankers' are already doing so and stealing the proceeds. It is nothing more or less than the very thinly disguised, standard, centuries-old, antisemitic conspiracy theory that has been used as an excuse for pogroms, mass-murder, and The Holocaust.

            It's always worth asking MMTers why the Weimar Republic suffered hyperinflation. It's either money printing or those people that chap with a moustache blamed it on in the thirties, and they don't believe it's money printing.

          2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

            Re: Marx would be proud

            Yes but where it becomes the magic money tree is that they simply print new bonds to pay back the old.

            No, that's what all governments do. Paying off debt is actually incredibly rare. Only Nigel Lawson and Gordon Brown have ever done it as Chancellors - and then it was only for a couple of years.

            However, so long as the government borrows less in a year than the economy grows, the debt to GDP ratio falls. Which is the measure that matters - as it's the year's output that has to pay for the taxes to fund the interest on bonds.

            Particularly as government bonds aren't linked to inflation (didn't used to be anyway - some now are). So a combination of economic growth and inflation makes old debt look less and less important. As long as a government can cover the interest, isn't borrowing too much and the economy keeps growing, government debt looks after itself and slowly drops.

            The problem is if you break the market's confidence in your government bond market. Because then you can't borrow anymore and have to resort to printing the stuff or QE - depending on how dire the situation is. QE is inflationary through a falling currency (but at least reversible), printing is permanent and if done too much will lead to hyper-inflation. Again QE done to counter a depression (as in 2008/9) is fine - it generates market confidence as the government saves the day. QE done to vastly increase spending does the opposite. It destroys confidence further and leads to comparisons with Venezuala.

            1. Tom Paine Silver badge

              Re: Marx would be proud

              Excellent comment, but:

              "Again QE done to counter a depression (as in 2008/9) is fine - it generates market confidence as the government saves the day."

              I respectfully submit that the jury's still out on that one. It certainly worked in the short/medium term, but the full consequences will take a decade or two longer to become unambiguous.

          3. Tom Paine Silver badge

            Re: Marx would be proud

            Yes but where it becomes the magic money tree is that they simply print new bonds to pay back the old.

            Yes, and that's how the economy has operated for the last couple of centuries.

      3. Tom Paine Silver badge

        Re: Marx would be proud

        "Labour literally don't understand that issuing bonds IS printing money."

        Bonds aren't money. They're basically loan agreements with repayment schedules, which can be traded in a secondary market. When you hear about companies that have been "loaded up with debt" by venture capitalists, what they're doing is selling bonds.

    5. JimC

      Re: Marx would be proud

      But the thing is, supposing you can raise 20 billion. WTF would you want to spend it on free broadband for people who can mostly afford to pay for it when there are so many more important things you could do with the money?

      1. Venerable and Fragrant Wind of Change

        Re: Marx would be proud

        There's precedent for that. Roads free at the point of use.

        Arguably free broadband makes more sense than free roads.

      2. LucreLout Silver badge

        Re: Marx would be proud

        But the thing is, supposing you can raise 20 billion

        It's not £20 billion, its £100 billion, which is again a huge amount of money this country does not have.

        This morning alone Corbyn knocked £760,000,000 of just one company with this morally and fiscally bankrupt commie rhetoric. That's a lot of money in the real world. That's the entire annual income tax from almost 250,000 average tax payers gone in a puff of smoke all before breakfast.

        No sane person with the faintest grasp of economics can possibly justify voting for Labour. No person with a shred of decency could either given the rampant anti-semitic views held by most of the party.

        1. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

          Re: Marx would be proud

          As you will appreciate, politics is about voting for the least worst choice. That's currently Labour.

          If (very big if) Labour get in, they'll have to modify their ambitions, and taxes will certainly go up. Still it's better than the on-going under funding of the NHS, crippling tuition fees (I support removing them despite the fact I got mine for free..), demonisation of anyone who is out of work. etc. etc.

          Not to mention that the Tories are Islamophobic, the Brexit party are racist, and UKIP are openly homophobic (right in their manifesto).

          1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

            Re: Marx would be proud

            BinkyTheMagicPaperclip,

            Labour are planning to nationalise companies without fully compensating shareholders, raise corporation taxes, print money to fund green spending, vastly increase borrowing and only increase taxes a bit. OK the last is clearly a lie - even they can't be so stupid as to think that you can get much money taxing the top 5%. Even gnoring the fact that dropping the top tax rate from 50% to 45% increased government revenue...

            Oh, and I forgot, sieze 10% of the shares of every corporation with more than 250 employees to "give" the shares to the employees. Though they won't actually get the more than a few hundred quid of the dividends, as they'll go as taxes.

            I was assuming that Labour would be slightly more cautious, as they were last election. But it looks like the Left are cutting loose and going the full 1983 at the moment.

            Those are economically disastrous policies that will knacker the economy and drive loads of businesses out of the country. There'll be no more money for the NHS, because the country won't have it.

            Voting Labour is a very poor idea indeed.

            Oh and you might want some proof on the Tories being Islamaphobic. It's not them that are being investigated by the Equalities Commission (only Labour and the BNP have been so far) - and there aren't lots of muslim Tories quitting in disgust at their party - unlike the jewish MPs and members who've left Labour. I'm sure there are some nasty old racists in the Conservative Party, as there are in the country at large - but I've not seen the evidence that this is much more than whataboutery yet - although I'm not impressed they haven't done more to sort it out.

            I'm not a fan of Johnson. But despite his "free and easy" / lazy way of talking about politics - he's not the lightweight he's accused of being. He was a shit foreign secretary, but a better mayor of London. However despite being told it wasn't possible and he wouldn't try - he managed to get an acceptable agreement out of the EU negotiation team, something May failed to do, and in my view that deserves credit.

            Whereas I think Corbyn genuinely is a political lightweight - and is just as bad as Johnson at shooting from the hip. His language is more measured, but he can't stick to a political message and changes policy on the hoof in interviews, because he's either too lazy, thick or dishonest to stick the policy agreements he makes with his shadow cabinet team. Plus the tolerating anti-semites and terrorists, so long as they conform to his worldview. And he'll share a platform with the Hamas leadership, but refused to with David Cameron to campaign in the EU referendum. In my view he's got a broken moral compass. I don't think he's unpatriotic, so much as reflexively "anti-Western" in his opinions - so Isreal's sin is being US-backed rather than jewish. So my opinion of him is that he's a bit thick - rather than being particularly nasty - but that's not exactly a recommendation to be PM.

            1. Tom Paine Silver badge

              Re: Marx would be proud

              With you on the first five pars...

              You forgot the four-day week. Apparently this won't knock 20% off GDP over night, because something.

          2. Dave314159ggggdffsdds

            Re: Marx would be proud

            The fash have taken over the Labour Party.

            https://www.thejc.com/comment/leaders/to-all-our-fellow-british-citizens-1.491812

            A vote for Labour is a vote for people who are actively working for this country to be Judenrein. The Tories have a few scumbags, but Labour's current ideology is the Socialism of Fools, however much Corbyn denies it. Antisemitism is fundamental to the worldview of Corbynites - although it does seem there are a lot more Corbyn-deniers (who insist he's the man they want him to be, rather than the one he is) than actual Corbynites.

          3. Tom Paine Silver badge

            Re: Marx would be proud

            Racism is an absolute hard stop for me. Given a choice of voting for two racists, the correct thing to do is to spoil your ballot.

            1. This post has been deleted by its author

          4. LucreLout Silver badge

            Re: Marx would be proud

            As you will appreciate, politics is about voting for the least worst choice. That's currently Labour.

            Labour are never the least worst choice - even in a choice between a labour government or being shot in the face, they still come second.

            Labour always bankrupt the country which always leads to public spending cuts because the money never existed in the first place. Its time the UK grew up and left behind socialism, which is the greatest evil ever designed by mankind.

            Labour are the most racist party in British politics by a good long way. They're right on the verge of being found to be institutionally racist by their own EHRC. Horrible horrible people. Nastly little economically illiterate, misogynist, racist buffoons who have no business being near power, ever. And I say that as one who has voted for them in the past and was raised "red or dead". The sooner this vile party folds the better this country will be.

        2. JohnMurray

          Re: Marx would be proud

          This country has as much money as it needs, to do most things. You are stuck in a household budget way of thinking about govt spending. I suggest further reading: https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2015/03/nation-states-arent-households-debating-their-economies-if-they-are-stupid is just one, google will throw out plenty more. The govt makes all the money? https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/knowledgebank/how-is-money-created is another. A very large proportion of money the govt spends, comes back to it....most of it if you only buy fuel (64% tax) or alcohol (£12 billion in tax on alcohol last year) !

          Governments are not households. And they are not businesses.

          1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

            Re: Marx would be proud

            JohnMurray,

            Governments are not households. And they are not businesses.

            You are correct about this, if nothing else. The household fallacy of governments isn't right, but then as you also say neither is government a business. So Labour's talk of borrowing to buy assets that balance off against the government debt is equally foolish. Nationalise stuff if there's an argument for it, but you have to actually pay the costs of doing so - i.e. it's got to be really worth it.

            MMT though is sort of bollocks. It may be true that the government can create money and destroy it in tax - that can be one valid way of looking at the economy. However MMT only lets you print money and spend it if the economy isn't at or near full-output. i.e. Helicopter Money can work in depressions because it's not that inflationary because the economy has unusued capacity and so this just boosts the economy closer to where it should be if there wasn't insufficient demand due to the loss of confidence causing the recession.

            But rather like it's dead easy to be a Keynseian in a recession (all that lovely spending you call for) - MMT is much less fun in boom time. That's when the ecomomy is running at (or above) full capacity - and that is when government has to tax more than it spends.. For Keynesians to build up the war chest (actually keep government debt low enough) for safe deficit spending in recession - for MMTers because printing money at full capacity is highly inflationary - and once you start down that road it can very easily become a runaway process. Weimar Germany printed money in the early 20s because it had worked fine(ish) during WWI. When they controlled the economy and it was running under capacity. But when they had a need for hard currency to pay off war debt, printing money was disastrous. Because that's the other problem with MMT - it might work in a closed economy with few imports and capital controls - but as soon as you try to pay foreigners for stuff with cash where the ink's still wet - they get awful sniffy and demand extra. Or worse hard currency.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: politbureau and gulags

      The politbureau would meet on his allotment in Islington.

      The gulags would be built anywhere there is a Tory majority (Over 50% of the electorate voted Tory).

      eg Henley on Thames

      Can't have all those rich people missing out from the poverty that will befall the rest of the country.

      With everyone working for the state there would be jobs for life and no incentive to work harder etc etc

      1. Tom Paine Silver badge

        Re: politbureau and gulags

        Having a majority, and having a greater than 50% vote share, are different things

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: politbureau and gulags

          The very definition of a majority is 50% + 1

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: politbureau and gulags

            Er no.

            If, say, only 3 people in the country vote for 2 outcomes, you will have > 50% of the vote for one of them.

            You certainly don't have a majority.

  11. Jules 1

    I think this is a mid-step by Labour. Nationalising openreach makes sense to ensure all retail offerings are on a level playing field and all areas, no matter how remote, get adequate service.

    Nationalizing the retail offerings makes no sense to me. They’re already very competitive. Legislate to ban misleading deals if need be but I don’t see a problem with that needs solving by a nationalists retail offering.

    1. DuncanLarge Silver badge

      > Nationalising openreach makes sense

      Would this prevent Openreach from leaving my companies leased line unplugged in the cabinet when they decided to test a few things during the night but thought they could get away with not documenting the test or telling anyone?

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        It would facilitate that. The further apart that OpenReach is from whoever you deal with the less the ability of that whoever to be forewarned and to pass on the warning.

        It's bad enough already. One afternoon some months ago phone and broadband kept going down. I tried ringing BT to ask if they knew there was any work going on in the area. No there wasn't. They could arrange a call-out but it would coast £80 if there was nothing wrong. Rather than do that I went down to the village where the cabinets are. Two manholes with the covers off, each occupied by a guy sorting out connections which they told me were no in great condition. Essential work, the only thing wrong was lack of communication (yes, the irony) back to customer disservice and hence to the customer. If things are to be broken up there needs to be a real effort on communicating this sort of thing all the way to the customer.

      2. AndrueC Silver badge
        Unhappy

        I don't see why. People are stupid and careless. There's no reason to think that being employed in a nationalised industry would mean only the clever people would stay. In fact that there are many reasons to think that upon nationalisation the clever people would all leave. Thus nationalisation would increase the likelihood of such bone-headed moves.

        That's the way it usually seems to go. Accountability seems to be something that the private sector does more enthusiastically than the public sector.

        1. batfink Silver badge

          Really? When I did some work with BT there were plenty of good, clever people working there, left over from the time it was in national hands.

          However, over the years, in keeping with all good private companies focussed on the bottom line, it was these good people who were the first ones up against the wall whenever the share price needed massaging.

          So no, there are not "many reasons to think that upon nationalisation the clever people would all leave".

  12. Dwarf Silver badge

    So imagine the outcome of this - if it actually materialises. The country gets one lowest common denominator broadband provider and no competition as they will have all died out.

    Net result, everyone gets TalkTalk level Internet access and no option to do anything about it.

    So, I won't be wanting to go this route, sounds like a reason not to vote for them ...

    I wish the politicians (all of them) would stop promising the world when its clear that they can't do the things that we really want them to - like running the country well.- give us a decent health service without the waiting lists, roads without potholes and service roles (police, teachers, etc) that are paid well for what they do.

    1. LucreLout Silver badge

      The country gets one lowest common denominator broadband provider and no competition as they will have all died out.

      You won't even get that much of the year as the unions will be on strike whenever:

      1) They want to blackmail more money out of us

      2) England play football

      3) The weather is nice and they want a BBQ

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Bad premise

      They won't be taking broadband away from anyone.

      1. LucreLout Silver badge

        Re: Bad premise

        They won't be taking broadband away from anyone.

        You could only possibly believe that if you totally disregard the 1970s. The unions will strike so often your service will be patchy and unreliable at best. Nationalization does not, can not, and will not work.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Bad premise

          I had an office in a building run by the council a while back, they offered internet access (for a fee). I had a chat with their tech guy about it, turned out support was only available during council office hours, I would be connected behind their firewall which would restrict my internet access based on council rules and best of all it was twice the price of getting my own phone line connected with adsl broadband. When I suggested this he told me I wouldn't be able to run my own wifi in my office as the building cisco wifi points would actively attack and block my wifi (his words). I always find it useful to play it dumb when asking questions to get a true picture of someones understanding and honesty.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just so much wind

    Labour is not going to be in power, just look at the betting odds, it's probably going to be a minority government.

    Having said that, it would be good to have the monopoly bit, i.e. the phone lines back in public ownership, rather than at the whim of Openreach.

    If Boris and his mates get their way we will have hard brexit and WTO rules, the lack of affordable broadband will be only a minor problem.

    1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds

      Re: Just so much wind

      "If Boris and his mates get their way we will have hard brexit and WTO rules"

      If only. The ERG think the benefit of leaving the EU is to be more protectionist/mercantilist, as batshit insane as that is.

      Compared to May's deal, Al's deal, and Labour's proposal, a reversion to zero tariff wto rules would be an improvement.

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: Just so much wind

        The ERG are about 30 people. And Johnson isn't one of them. He actually voted for May's deal, as the least worst option at the time. Then despite it being supposedly "impossible" went off and negotiated a new one (minus the worst bits) - and has now said (and written into that agreement) that he wants a free trade agreement with the EU.

        Apart from his views on the EU, I think he's much more of a Cameroon than any of them. Whereas the ERG are more Thatcherite-than-thou and certainly more Thatcherite than Thatcher ever was.

        1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds

          Re: Just so much wind

          The ERG aren't Thatcherite in any way whatsoever. They're mercantilists. The thing they're closest to are actual Tories - as in the original Tory Party of the early 18th C. If Johnson isn't as close to them as he was while gathering members' votes to become PM, that's a good thing. The one advantage of a bit of Boris is that he'll take any stance that'll get him re-elected, so if the country actually wants to cancel Brexit, he'll do it.

          Johnson's 'deal' was just political manoeuvring to allow him to hold an election. Kicking NI out of the UK is actually unacceptable, which is why it was never on the table before. For Al to return from Brussels claiming he's solved Brexit, while all he's done is to ignore the biggest problem, was disingenuous to say the least.

      2. JohnMurray

        Re: Just so much wind

        They're not zero-tariff though....not without a trade agreement....https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-45112872

        We may well offer zero-tariff on imports, or most of them, but tariffs on our exports are not zero...and if we offer the EU zero tariffs on imports, we also have to do that for every other WTO country.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Just so much wind

      The Americans are neutering the WTO by refusing to allow any new judges to be appointed to its arbitration courts; as the current judges serve fixed terms with most ending in the next few months the WTO will be unable to adjudicate on any disputes.

  14. Commander Lard

    Not withstanding the impact to all those people employed within the telcom industry at Sky, Virgin, TalkTalk, Vodafone and countless other smaller ISP's that find they suddenly are out of a job when the government starts giving broadband away and wipes out huge swathes of companies, the cost to the economy will be significant if this goes through and means only one viable ISP can operate in the UK, with no choice and absolutely no way to influence the market! A fanciful idea, that isn't viable

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Thanks god the socialists have no hope of being elected. The few quid i spent joining Labour to vote for Corbyn to keep them out of power seems to have been a great move.

    Unfortunately the young typically vote for a Labour government until they experience one, but it wont be anything like enough to get him in.

    Let's not forget the the last Labour government increased the national debt by 191% and left us with an annual budget deficit of £103 billion! Which the conservatives have gradually reduced such that so far this year we have a budget surplus of £19 billion. Like all socialist governments eventually they ran out of someone else's money to spend.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "The few quid i spent joining Labour to vote for Corbyn to keep them out of power seems to have been a great move."

      Except that the Conservatives then decided to join in the batshit insanity competition.

    2. MrMerrymaker Bronze badge

      This idea aside you're voting for further deaths, be it Grenfell again or homelessness or Universal Credit or the NHS being sold off.

      Vote for who you want, but do weigh up everything.

      But you're not being straight with us, as you think the Tories aren't getting us in massive debt! You're too partisan to trust, even if calling New Labour "socialist" wasn't enough of a clue.

      1. LucreLout Silver badge

        This idea aside you're voting for further deaths, be it Grenfell again or homelessness or Universal Credit or the NHS being sold off.

        Socialism and communism have killed more people than anything else last century. Socialism is the last great evil of the last century and it must be extinguished for our children to have any future worth the name.

        The NHS already kills more than 30,000 people a year due to mistakes, and frankly is way past its best and in desperate need of modernization. This canard of the left that the NHS is the only way to provide universal healthcare is dishonest in the extreme. It's become a bottomless money pit which we cannot hope to fund into the future without a ground up rebuild with a focus on efficiency and patient care rather than as a means of income provision and a job for life.

  16. Polonius

    Analyst?

    The analyst quoted - Matthew Howett from Assembly is obviously providing an informed view! Assembly, from their web site, has only 2 employees and among the sparse list of their customers is, surprise surprise... BT

  17. Velv Silver badge
    Flame

    It's easy to promise the world when you know you stand no chance of being elected.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Pint

      @Velv

      Perhaps you really mean "it's easy to promise the world when someone else has to pay for it"

      Anyway, have an upvote and as it's weekend, lots of… (see icon).

      Ishy

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      That's similar to the view Cameron seems to have adopted when promising a referendum.

  18. ToddRundgrensUtopia

    Government/the Civil Service are crap at doing stuff

    Governments have to do some stuff, e.g. defence, so buying Chinooks for Afghanistan that could operate in a desert is the price you pay

    Government should leave well alone, apart from defence. I used to included education, but the LEAs were poor and we now have a tertiary education system where everyone of the so called Universities charges £9.5K p/annum for often rubbish course, oh and manage to pay the VC 1/4-1/5Mill per annum

    Gov leave stuff well alone, please??????

  19. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Devil

    Oh do go ahead and nationalize BT

    Given the competence of UK Government in managing IT projects, it will be dream job to nationalize and properly manage a country-wide phone/data network, along with the international connections that go with it. Oh yeah, sure. And that will not at all allow you to implement half-backed Age Verification schemes without asking anyone's opinion, no, no, of course not. Nor will that allow you to "filter" certain sites without having to mention it to anyone either, right ?

    Free broadband for everyone ? I give it six months before nobody has anything better than 3G anywhere.

    There's not enough popcorn for that shitfest.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oh do go ahead and nationalize BT

      @Pascal Monett

      Cat upvote you enough. Well said

      Ishy

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oh do go ahead and nationalize BT

      They'll be bringing back operators to connect calls next.

      1. STOP_FORTH
        Megaphone

        Re: Oh do go ahead and nationalize BT

        Why stop there? "Operator, I'd like an Internet connection the The Register, please." "Push mouse button "B", caller."

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oh do go ahead and nationalize BT

      Why would you judge a future government by the current government?

      Oh, because you're looking to prove your opinion, rather than coming to it naturally as a result of research and understanding.

      1. osmarks

        Re: Oh do go ahead and nationalize BT

        Because a different party being in charge doesn't mean that the other structures the higher-up bits of the government use to actually execute their grand plans, or the fundamental realities involved in doing stuff, change.

  20. Roger Greenwood

    The bigger picture

    As well as all the numerous problems mentioned above, a major aim seems to be to enable the poor downtrodden consumer (you and me) to have better internet so we can stop at home and buy more stuff easier. At the same time we need to "save the high street". Have they thought this through?

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: The bigger picture

      How does super-fast internet let you buy more stuff than regular fast internet? I rarely find my amazon purchase rate limited if I have 2Mbps rather than 32.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: The bigger picture

        But obviously the faster the better.

  21. Locky Silver badge

    Infrastrucutre

    Back in the late 80's I did a Economics A level, and I distinctly remember the text books (remember them kids) stating that county wide infrastructure, phone lines, train lines, roads etc, are poor candidates for privatisation as there is no way to have multiple routes and therefore no competition. All you get is companies bidding to run it better (cheaper) and skim off the profits.

    Seems the Torys didn't read they same book

    1. jpo234

      Re: Infrastrucutre

      > county wide infrastructure, phone lines, train lines, roads etc, are poor candidates for privatisation

      That's why natural monopolies are subject to special regulations, e.g. Ofcom in the case of communications services.

      1. Timmy B Silver badge

        Re: Infrastrucutre

        "Ofcom in the case of communications services."

        And we know how well Ofcom and the like work...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Infrastrucutre

          Call me Dave promised to abolish OFCOM in his manifesto.

          I'm still waiting...

          :/

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Infrastrucutre

          OFCOM's cosy relationship with BT is one of the reason BT hasn't provided a world class service to a first world country...

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Infrastrucutre

      Locky,

      And yet the UK have some of the cheapest water and energy in Western Europe. So it's not like national infrastructure can't be run by private companies. I don't know about phone/broadband prices - except fromwhen I lived in Belgium, where they were twice as much as Blighty. And Belgacom's service was worse than BT. And that's despite Belgian average wages at the time being about 2/3rds UK levels.

    3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Infrastrucutre

      Hmm. I wonder how old the text books and/or their authors were. By the late '80s the difference between the black telephone rationing company and the privatised BT were becoming obvious. Either the books date from the '70s or were written by authors too young to have been GPO subscribers back then.

  22. ParasiteParty

    Well I personally think it is a good idea....

    I know I will get flamed by the neo-liberals and capitalists here. In response, I say screw your values* along with your wizened hag mother and deluded father Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan.

    Infrastructure should be at least partially state owned and state directed if not state run and this includes roads and rail as well as internet backbone. These people who think it is a bad idea should consider their moans carefully: If, philosophically, you think free market capitalism is the best platform for these projects then lets sell the roads and NHS too. How about the Army too? Or our nuclear deterrent? There are clear benefits to state run infrastructure and to not recognise them is ignorant in the extreme.

    We have customers that have connection speeds of barely 2Mbs down on a good day with no hope of anything better from any provider. I myself get 6Mbps and I count myself lucky. It took Openreach 5 1/2 MONTHS to install a phone line for us when we moved about 300 yards down the road. That was after I got my MP involved and complained to the head of BT personally.

    I do recognise that some people bemoan the ability of state run organisations to do things 'efficiently' however this is down to the values and skills of the managers as opposed to who owns the business being run.

    For example - do you think it wise, and good for the people of this country (and their pockets) for BT to pay BILLIONS of pounds to the Premier League? They could have put that money into better infrastructure rather than TV rights. Who want to see a bunch of grown men paid millions of pounds a year kicking a bag of wind around a grass patch?

    Perhaps if the masses spent as much time considering other human beings as they did watching sports they might just become socialists, and we'd be in a much better place. Much like Noam said.

    * I said screw your values, I did not say screw you. As a socialist I love you all.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Well I personally think it is a good idea....

      If the bag of wind being kicked around was Jeremy Corbyn I'd pay to watch.

      1. OssianScotland Silver badge

        Re: Well I personally think it is a good idea....

        If the bag of wind was ANY party leader (indeed any MP) I would pay to watch

    2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Well I personally think it is a good idea....

      Infrastructure should be at least partially state owned and state directed if not state run and this includes roads and rail as well as internet backbone.

      State-owned means "paid for out of taxes", i.e. we pay for it but have no control over how it's run. At least with a private company we can decide it's shite & take our business elsewhere (which needn't mean broadband, it could be 4/5G, satellite, etc).

      I'm also curious how you reconcile your socialist view on this with the French model, France being a far more socialist country than the UK. In the UK the motorway network is state-run, open to all drivers, and was built by upgrading A-roads at taxpayer expense. In France the autoroute network is privately managed under 30-year concessions, and charges heavy tolls. It's an overlay network, the original main roads are still there, creating a not-very-socialist model where those who have the money can pay to use very good 130km/h roads, and those who can't pay get stuck on single carriageways with 80km/h limits. Not very egalitarian.

      It took Openreach 5 1/2 MONTHS to install a phone line for us when we moved about 300 yards down the road.

      That's poor, but still twice as fast as it used to take when BT was state-run. If you could get a line at all, that is. We had a party line for years because there wasn't any infrastructure investment.

      Perhaps if the masses spent as much time considering other human beings as they did watching sports they might just become socialists,

      Hey, there's an idea. Nationalise the premier league and have the results decided by committee. No need to waste TV coverage on it at all, then.

      1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

        Re: Well I personally think it is a good idea....

        > France being a far more socialist country than the UK.

        France has never been socialist, unless you count a few months in Paris in 1871. All the presidents since at least Mitterand have been either explicitly or implicitly right-wing.

        > In France the autoroute network is privately managed under 30-year concessions,

        This is a fairly recent privatisation, the autoroute companies were originally sate-owned.

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: Well I personally think it is a good idea....

          Uncle Slack,

          France is way more socialist than the UK. You're forgetting President Hollande by the way, who was from the Socialist Party. Sadly for them, they can't forget him - they got 7% in the last national election.

          You forget that a French right winger is to the left of most UK centrists. Britain has been politically to the right of most European countries for a long time - though Europe in general has moved a bit rightward since Thatcher's time.

          It's a bit like the USA, where most democrats would traditionally have fit happily in the Conservative Party and been too right wing for Labour. Though the Democrats have moved a bit left in the last decade and the Republicans have gone way off to the right.

          1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds

            Re: Well I personally think it is a good idea....

            "the Democrats have moved a bit left in the last decade"

            You're rather understating things. Modern Democrats are a hair to the left of Tommy Robinson, and wouldn't even be welcome in the ERG. They have moved ever so slightly left, but they're still a party of protectionism, isolationism, and closed borders, as well as being (by UK standards) nutbar libertarian extremists on law and order.

            It is staggering how large a difference there is in the fundamentals of politics between Europe and the US. Rees-Moggy would be somewhat to the left of Bernie Sanders and considered a dangerous communist.

  23. john.w
    Trollface

    Diane Abbot is being put forward as the new head of Broadband Services Inc. She has already promised speeds of up to 8000 bps. When asked she had no idea what bps stood for but 8000 was a really big number compared today's up to 300 numbers being offered by BT.

    1. Kubla Cant Silver badge

      Tell me, Diane, is that 8000 bps per person, or 8000 bps for everybody?

    2. OssianScotland Silver badge

      borrises (borri?) per second?

  24. DuncanLarge Silver badge

    LOL's

    I laughed so hard this morning when I heard this.

    I laugh whenever I hear about Corbyn wanting to nationalise this or that, even when I am almost in agreement about nationalising something to "start fresh" after it was run into the ground by to much profiteering, ahem, railways.

    There is just one thing that is in his way. The thing that makes me laugh. We are still in the EU.

    In the EU, it is illegal to nationalise anything. This rule is in the treaties and all member states must follow it.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Next I suppose someone wil say that Labour are a leave party and will get us out of the EU no matter what we say in the peoples vote they claim they will give us, because if they dont, they cant do jack about implementing most of their now obviously empty promises.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHA

    HA

    1. Danny 2 Silver badge

      Re: LOL's

      In the EU, it is illegal to nationalise anything. This rule is in the treaties and all member states must follow it.
      Then you'll have no problem linking to it then? There are plenty of nationalised / subsidised public services in the EU so I'm dubious.

      1. Wilseus

        Re: LOL's

        "Then you'll have no problem linking to it then? There are plenty of nationalised / subsidised public services in the EU so I'm dubious."

        Indeed there are. What governments are not allowed to do under EU rules is create new monopolies.

        1. Danny 2 Silver badge

          Re: LOL's

          Again, I'd like a link to your monopoly claim. This proposal wouldn't be a monopoly though. People could still pay for a faster or better service, perhaps bundled with a phone or TV package. It's akin to saying the NHS has a monopoly on healthcare in the UK just because it is free at the point of service (in Scotland at least).

          Would it damage private providers? Maybe. Would it benefit the well-off disproportionally? Arguably. It's mainly a subsidy for rural voters. My dirt-poor neighbours can already get 150Mb/s because we live in a city - and those who can't afford it can piggy-back off my 50Mb/s.

          Yet again I'm defending a policy I don't agree with from a party I won't be voting for because the EU has been smeared even though I voted for Brexit. `It's very hard to cling to the facts during the political posturing of the most divisive general election since 1979, and the first to be subject to blatant foreign interference.

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: LOL's

      Duncan Large,

      How have the railways been ruined by private companies? Passenger numbers are at an all time high.

      I'm not saying I'd have privatised them, and if I had, not like it was done. But I'm also old enough to remember British Rail.

      Water was the industry that got privatised because it had been ruined by government. And after 50 years of chronic underinvestment the infrastructure was totally fucked and it was dumping raw sewage from outfall pipes next to popular bathing beaches.

      I'd not use such over-wrought language about much of the other privatisation/nationalisation decisions. If Labour want to renationalise rail, I'm fine with that. I doubt it'll make a huge difference. But those of us old enough to remember the original British Telecom don't rember it as all sunlit uplands. Although I did get a Buzby badge out of them...

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: LOL's

        "not like it was done."

        Certainly not.

        We had companies paying to run shortish term franchises over infrastructure somebody else owned and ran. And I never did find out who owned and ran the station whose employee was still trying to find my pre-booked ticket and still had to sell me a car park ticket whilst the train was pulling into the station. I arrived by car about 15 minutes later than if I'd taken the train and would have been a good deal earlier than that if I hadn't bothered with the train at all.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: LOL's

        >And after 50 years of chronic underinvestment the infrastructure

        "That's the standard technique of privatization: defund, make sure things don't work, people get angry, you hand it over to private capital." (Chomsky - on US privatisation).

        With most public services and natural monopolies here in the UK it's worked (and people eventually pay more for less, if not happily then acceptingly). Only exception I can think of is NHS, where people still have the awareness to blame the collapse of service level on the defunding and policies intended to save costs - nonetheless every Conservative gov since the 70s has given it a hopeful go.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: LOL's

      "I laughed so hard this morning when I heard this."

      It's almost as funny as saying that the roads should be privatised.

      Unfortunately, some people think that maintaining the status quo is the prime directive. Mainly because it affects them.

  25. Len
    Holmes

    Only nationalise OpenReach

    At first I thought this was a barmy idea but after mulling it over a bit I have grown a bit more sympathetic to it. First of all, a couple of premisses:

    1) It is a bit odd that a commercial and independent operator is also responsible for OpenReach where it needs to supply its competitors. There is a reason there have been accusations of market distortion for years.

    2) Giving (nearly) every household a 10 mbit pipe is commercially unattractive. There will always be communities where it's just not economically viable if profit is the main motive. Some kind of public sector involvement is required.

    3) Having an infrastructure provider as Network Rail in public hands where private operators compete on is a good thing. Whether you agree that Train Operating Companies should be private or public is another matter. I see very few people debate that Network Rail should be privatised too.

    Why not replicate the set up for rail similar to that for broadband? Arguably it's even a lot easier than the setup for rail. Therefore:

    a) Privatise OpenReach but not BT.

    b) Run it with a mild profit aim (but not profit at all costs) for most of the country and then subsidise those areas that would otherwise never be connected.

    c) Open the network for all ISPs to offer their services over it with a small profit margin (see b).

    The most contentious element is probably this:

    If you want free broadband for everyone but don't want to kill the market one could create a (public owned) broadband provider that operates over the OpenReach network at no cost. To keep the market alive it would need be very minimal (max 2Mbit down?). Enough to get access to vital services but not enough to run Netflix, gaming etc.. Anyone who wants a bit more would still need to go to the market and get a commercial subscription.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Only nationalise OpenReach

      Yeah I'm kind of on-board with infrastructure being government controlled, though I have no issue with them contracting work out to private companies. I wouldn't say I'm clamouring for it but I can see the argument.

    2. Fading
      Holmes

      Re: Only nationalise OpenReach

      Probably easier to just offer incentives to existing ISPs to fund the expansion (reduction in taxes on profits - prerequisite for 6G licenses etc.). The more central government gets involved the less things tend to work.

    3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Only nationalise OpenReach

      "Having an infrastructure provider as Network Rail in public hands where private operators compete on is a good thing. Whether you agree that Train Operating Companies should be private or public is another matter. I see very few people debate that Network Rail should be privatised too.

      Why not replicate the set up for rail similar to that for broadband?"

      Why not? Because having the rail infrastructure separate from the operators gives the former no incentive to do a good job and denies the latter the means to do so. It was an arrangement guaranteed to produce little improvement on BR days. That's why not.

      1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds

        Re: Only nationalise OpenReach

        To be fair, splitting the safety from the sales isn't a bad idea. The main problem is that franchises are not actually in competition with anything except other means of getting around. To make it work, whole lines, or even whole trains, shouldn't be a monopoly.

  26. 080

    Welcome to Cloud Cuckoo Land

    All this talk about "free" broadband if fine but as we all know there is no such thing as a free lunch.

    So who is going to pay for it since the only money a government has is what it steals off the people?

    I'm afraid its going to be you me and all the other taxpayers, including those taxpayers that don't want or use broadband, either in direct taxes or in increased prices from the likes of Amazon who sure as hell are not going to absorb the extra tax.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Welcome to Cloud Cuckoo Land

      Well duh. The argument is whether you should pay for what you use, or we all contribute for a shared service. Exactly the same argument as whether you want all schools to charge fees in return for lower taxes since not everyone has kids. Most people, even most Tory voters, would prefer free schools.

      You do diminish your credibility talking about 'stealing' like a 9 year old though.

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: Welcome to Cloud Cuckoo Land

        Hardly the same as schools. They benefit everyone, there's no better investment a country can make than educating the next generation.

        Fast broadband, on the other hand, is more like a motorway. Great if you have a car, but if you're fine with getting around by bike why should you have to pay for fancy roads for those that can afford to buy a Mercedes?

        1. ChrisC

          Re: Welcome to Cloud Cuckoo Land

          "if you're fine with getting around by bike why should you have to pay for fancy roads for those that can afford to buy a Mercedes?"

          Because unless you live *completely* off grid and grow all your own food, weave all your own clothes etc., there's a remarkably high probability that the essential items you need to survive will have been moved around the country on the motorway network. You might never use the motorways in person, but simply by living in this country you'll almost certainly be responsible for indirectly generating traffic on the motorways.

    2. Danny 2 Silver badge

      Re: Welcome to Cloud Cuckoo Land

      the likes of Amazon who sure as hell are not going to absorb the extra tax
      Extra tax? They don't pay any tax!

      There's a few issues mixed up here, but I hope we can all agree that Amazon should pay a fair rate of tax. The debate is about how it should be spent by the state.

      1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds

        Re: Welcome to Cloud Cuckoo Land

        "I hope we can all agree that Amazon should pay a fair rate of tax"

        Well, no. Because businesses don't pay tax, people do. Those people are either tax resident in the UK, in which case they can be taxed on their income, or they are overseas, in which case their money is foreign direct investment - a good thing for the country as a whole and which therefore shouldn't be taxed.

        The only reason we ever came up with the idea of taxing corporations was that it was more convenient (in the days of paper and adding machines) than to tax all the shareholders individually. Self-evidently it no longer works, so the insistence on perpetuating what we know empirically isn't a very good way of raising revenue says much about how politicians appeal to base prejudices.

        In any case, the main reason Amazon pay little tax is that they don't make a profit due to reinvestment - which is exactly what we intended the tax structure to encourage. Either they're misguidedly flushing 100% of the money away on investments which will never pay off, in an effort to avoid ~25% tax, or they are in fact investing in growing the business and will pay more tax in future as a result.

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: Welcome to Cloud Cuckoo Land

          Dave(numbers),

          That used to be true. Amazon have always run for future growth and made tiny profits. But as of last year they're now starting to crank the profits out - so their corporation taxes are going to have to go up, or they'll have to start fiddling the system like Google and Apple. Although that's probably changing as the US have lowered their corp tax rates - the only sensible policy I can think of that Trump came up with.

          1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds

            Re: Welcome to Cloud Cuckoo Land

            Quite.

            Google and Apple also aren't 'fiddling the system', by the way. It's still just the usual antisemitic conspiracy theories with the word 'Jew' taken out.

    3. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Welcome to Cloud Cuckoo Land

      Our pensions will pay, as they currently own the shares - and will get compensated at reduced rates with an asset that would soon crash in value. All the gilts they're planning to issue will massively push up interest rates - so we'll have those higher costs to deal with too. And of course, taxes will have to rise to cover the interest on all the bonds Labour are planning to issue. I think our current interest payments are about £30-40bn. So basically the entire defence budget goes on servicing the national debt. For context it was well under £10bn in 2007.

  27. grimmriffer

    For a given value of "free"

    Everyone will be saved 30 quid a month broadband subscription by our free to use nationalised industry! And your tax burden will only go up by 60 quid a month to cover it.

    Nothing's ever free, it's just paid for through different routes.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: For a given value of "free"

      So you'd like to pay for your driving per-mile, pay for private bin collections, etc?

      1. Danny 2 Silver badge

        Re: For a given value of "free"

        I'd like Amazon charged for each mile their delivery drivers have used on British taxpayer funded roads.

        I'm holding off posting this because Corbyn has just been asked about internet porn, which is frankly what we are all talking about. It's been (un)answered for him - apparently we will have digital rights. Our five digits have their rights.

        1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds

          Re: For a given value of "free"

          Amazon pay road tax and fuel tax, and are doing exactly what our tax structure was designed to encourage. Why the constant cries to punish them for doing what we wanted businesses to do?

          1. ChrisC

            Re: For a given value of "free"

            And Amazon delivery drivers, along with every other person that Amazon employs in the UK, *are* British taxpayers anyway, so every bit as "entitled" to use the road network as anyone else...

          2. Danny 2 Silver badge

            Re: For a given value of "free"

            @Dave314159ggggdffsdds

            Because they don't pay corporate income tax, they don't respect worker's rights.

            I see from your other comments here you are accusing left-wingers of being nazis since April. The only wannabe nazi I see here is you.

            Henry Ford was a Fascist

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: For a given value of "free"

        "So you'd like to pay for your driving per-mile"

        I'd like what I pay for in car tax on a flat fee basis and indirectly on a per-mile basis in fuel tax to be spent on roads. I have no doubt whatsoever that if any government introduced per-mile charges it would be additional to the other transport taxes.

      3. Mark Honman

        Re: For a given value of "free"

        We already pay per mile due to the tax included in the petrol price.

        That actually works well because it discourages gas-guzzlers and does not penalise lower-income people who rarely use their cars.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I am not

    one for being a cynical old bastard but,

    If there are people who can't afford the internet (and I don't doubt that there are many) I assume that means they won't be able to afford a P.C. or whatever to access the 'net.

    So are these folk going to get free (government approved of course, therefore naturally being loaded with all spyware known to mankind) devices so they can actually use the service? After all, most people know that, if it is free...

    If so what would be the real cost?

    Ishy

  29. JDX Gold badge

    Free FULL FIBRE?

    I've seen this specifically mentioned in a few places. Is that the same as fibre-to-your-door, i.e. something most of us don't have (and don't have equipment for) or does it include what most of us have as "fibre broadband" e.g. a bit of regular wire up your drive?

    1. Dwarf Silver badge

      Re: Free FULL FIBRE?

      Why did my brain just make the following logical path ?

      FULL FIBRE -> Bran Flakes -> Full of Shit -> Politicians

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Free FULL FIBRE?

        > FULL FIBRE -> Bran Flakes -> Full of Shit -> Politicians

        I thought the thing about Bran Flakes was that they cured Full Of Shit ?

        (which makes them the opposite of SnowFlakes, I suppose)

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Free FULL FIBRE?

      Whatever's promised the actual delivery - at best - would probably be free ADSL. IOW broadband.

  30. Bogbody

    So thats the bussiness model for BB nuked.

    Dial up anyone?

  31. Danny 2 Silver badge

    The 1980s called but British Telecom still hadn't connected your phone yet

    The DWP is the only place that uses Vivaldi as a call-waiting tune. Corbyn used that in his speech as a dog-whistle for a generation pissed off by the DWP.

    To recreate the 1980s then tax from Amazon and Google should be used to provide free business rates for small business high street stores. It's they who have been slaughtered most from the tech companies tax free status, and the high streets of the 1980s were vibrant and worth visiting, if only in memory. Free porn for all faster could be replaced with a topless woman in every newspaper and nude magazines being recycled in woods. And the Milky Bar kid never came through on his promise, "The Milky Bars are on me!"

    In short, silly stuff and I won't be voting for it.

    I'd prefer free dental care and free glasses for all. I need both urgently and can't get either because I'm not on Universal Credit, because I don't want to lose my flat. If I vote, and I may not for the first time, it'll be for the SNP.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The 1980s called but British Telecom still hadn't connected your phone yet

      If I vote, and I may not for the first time, it'll be for the SNP.

      Thanks, at least that will confine the economic catastrophe to Scotland, leaving UK taxes for more useful things.

      1. Danny 2 Silver badge

        Re: The 1980s called but British Telecom still hadn't connected your phone yet

        2008 called and the economic catastrophe already happened. It happened in Scotland too, but our government helped protect our population more than the British government helped the English and Welsh population.

        I've read many reports in left wing journals like the FT that a new economic catastrophe is likely because banking regulations are still inadequate.

        I can't get glasses or my teeth fixed, but that is because benefits haven't been devolved to Scotland. In general though it is much better to be poor in Scotland than poor in England. We have free education here, free prescriptions, like you used to, and the place hasn't went to hell.

        1. Wilseus

          Re: The 1980s called but British Telecom still hadn't connected your phone yet

          "We have free education here, free prescriptions, like you used to, and the place hasn't went to hell."

          Isn't that because the rest of the UK subsidises Scotland though? Presumably if Scotland gets independence, those payments would stop. Not that that would overly bother the SNP I suspect, as by that point they will have got what they want.

          I and many of my fellow English people are fine with Scottish independence because we are sick and tired of hearing about it.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: The 1980s called but British Telecom still hadn't connected your phone yet

            "I and many of my fellow English people are fine with Scottish independence because we are sick and tired of hearing about it."

            The whole of the UK should have been given the vote but I suppose the result would have looked like being thrown out and that wouldn't have suited the wee man's ego.

          2. Danny 2 Silver badge

            Re: The 1980s called but British Telecom still hadn't connected your phone yet

            Sure, we'll pay you back your subsidies if you give us back our Oil Fund investment ala Norway.

            I'm sure most thieves are sick of being reminded of their thefts.

            1. Wilseus

              Re: The 1980s called but British Telecom still hadn't connected your phone yet

              "Sure, we'll pay you back your subsidies if you give us back our Oil Fund investment ala Norway.

              I'm sure most thieves are sick of being reminded of their thefts."

              That reply seems to imply that I suggested Scotland pays those subsidies back, which is strange, given that I said no such thing.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The 1980s called but British Telecom still hadn't connected your phone yet

          It happened in Scotland too, but our government helped protect our population more than the British government helped the English and Welsh population.

          Easy when you had English money to spend :-)

          1. Danny 2 Silver badge

            Re: The 1980s called but British Telecom still hadn't connected your phone yet

            Weird, you don't want us to become independent and yet you do claim we are living off you.

            Think it through and take a rational stand. For once.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: economic catastrophy

          With Google moving into Banking... what can go wrong eh?

          IMHO, Google are in a race with Facebook to create the first supranational organisation. One that Governments can't control because of their tentacles everywhere and in every corner of bit of governments secret or not.

          1. fredj

            Re: economic catastrophy

            Has anyone told Jeremy this yet? Trust his lot to want to nationalise a system which is going to be superseded.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: economic catastrophy

            "One that Governments can't control"

            You seem to be misinformed - Governments can do whatever they like. They can ban Google and Facebook tomorrow if they want. China already has. Even if they do, the sky won't fall in.

            But since they will inevitably end up being more of a US poodle than Tony Blair ever was, that is unlikely.

        4. SundogUK Bronze badge

          Re: The 1980s called but British Telecom still hadn't connected your phone yet

          "...and the place hasn't went to hell."

          And we can see what free education gets you.

    2. Crisp Silver badge

      1995 called it wants its ‘certain year called and it wants its blank back’ formula

      Why Jerry?

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Labour will today pledge

    never mind the next pie in the sky presented by all parties practically every day (it appears like they've entered a merry bidding war on who's going to provide the silliest promise). What is important perhaps is that those parties employ clever, very well paid people who tell the parties, which promises "work" to get the votes. So, these promises are - "tailored" and, most probably are a TRUE reflection of intelligence level of millions of voters who are going to be influenced by those promises and vote for the highest bidder. Idiocracy ahoy.

  33. SVV Silver badge

    Forget the rational arguments, it's election time!

    There's not all that much use taking all pre election promises seriously, as most are for the purpose of getting votes and will never materialise. If this wasn't the case then we would already have the bestest transport, healthcare, education, etc in the universe as that's what every party has promised before every single election I can remember.

    On this basis alone, you have to admit it's quite a stunningly good headline grabber, and it's been amusing watching the response to it which can be fairly characterised as "It is outrageous and irresponsible to promise free things like this which would cost a fortune, unlike all the brilliant slightly different free things which we are promising which won't cost anything". Reading between the lines of some of the reactions by politicians, I also sense a slight bit of "damn, wish we'd thought of that one....".

    Personally, I agree with a few other posters so far who have made the case that Openreach should really be taken back into public ownership, as it is effectively a poorly run state mandated monopoly anyway, little more than a compulsory rent seeker.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Forget the rational arguments, it's election time!

      I don't think that's true. In this case, Boris Johnson is not quite the loony right-winger that he's always been portrayed as. He's socially on the Cameroon wing of the party, and I think economically too - but he's always been considered more on the right because of the Europe issue. So obviously he's promising more spending, because he's planning so spend more. Which was clear from what he said when he first became PM. Whether they really think they can sustain that if the economy goes South is another matter - but then they also think that they want to avoid the economy going South by spending more.

      As for Corbyn, he's a Bennite. He was on Tony Benn's deputy leadership campaign in 1981 (or was it 80?). He went into the last election on Miliband's manifesto, maybe because there wasn't time, or maybe so as not to frighten the horses.

      But in this election the left have taken almost complete control of the Labour Party structure. I'm pretty certain that this election is going to be about what he believes. He's been a Brexiteer since the 1970s, and so he may be lying about that to stop the entire set of MPs from defecting - but it's not like any of these other views should be a surprise. His main advisors used to be members of the Communist Party! In the 1980s when there was no excuse for it - and all the horrors of communism were known.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Forget the rational arguments, it's election time!

        His main advisors used to be members of the Communist Party!

        As was John Reid. (i.e. in itself, doesn't mean much about what their views are now.)

      2. Dave314159ggggdffsdds

        Re: Forget the rational arguments, it's election time!

        "As for Corbyn, he's a Bennite."

        {{Citation needed}} as the kids say these days. Corbyn has spent decades proving that he'll say anything for money. It's highly implausible that he has any political principles at all. The only consistent thread tying it all together is antisemitism, but there isn't even any sign that isn't just because antisemitism is lucrative.

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: Forget the rational arguments, it's election time!

          Dave,

          My citation being that he was mates with Benn. And was on his campaign to be leader and deputy leader. And doesn't seem to have changed his politics much since.

          The difference is that Benn was rather more intelligent.

          1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds

            Re: Forget the rational arguments, it's election time!

            Corbyn saying something doesn't mean he believes in it, it just means he thinks it benefits him to say it.

            We saw with the expenses scandal just how flagrantly Corbyn is prepared to lie. And his supporters still insist the lie is true, even though it's a matter of public record - and has been admitted by Jezzer - that it is diametrically opposed to the truth.

  34. Nodrog

    Promises, promises...

    File under "Things That Aren't Going To Happen". For a start, to see this through Labour would have to win at least two - and probably three - consecutive General Elections *and* keep the policy intact despite "events, dear boy".

    Not that it would matter which party promised it, it's an election after all and lies and false promises are all the rage.

  35. A Splurger
    WTF?

    It's politics, ffs

    Interesting how politics makes people shout for one team or the other and blinds them to the incompetence and self-serving heart of them all.

    When the Emperor's New Baldness finally forces de Pfeffel and The Chump to fall from the Hollow Celebrity stage, others will step in and new crowds will Whoop, Whoop!

  36. Nifty

    Labour used Sourth Korea as the template, but forgot to check something.

    Labour web page on this announcement made a direct comparison with the success of FTTH rollout in S Korea.

    But the seem to have missed reading up on the subject first.

    http://www.infodev.org/en/Document.934.pdf

    "Surprisingly given the Government’s extensive policy involvement in the ICT sector, the **majority of

    funding for Korea’s broadband infrastructure projects has come from the private sector** rather than the

    public sector. Overall, the Government invested more than $900 million US in the KII project. However

    this is only a small proportion compared to the total investment of $33 billion overall (NCA). The

    Government’s total budget for BcN is far smaller, at just $62 million, again a drop in the ocean compared

    to the overall level of investment that will be made by the private sector. Investment"

  37. RancidRodent

    Ye Gods - back to the dark ages.

    Does anyone remember the GPO? I do - "A telephone sir? Certainly. That'll be December - next year - oh, and only installable next to your front door!"

    Crikey, if we remained hostage to the GPO through the late 80s early 90s we'd still be connected by 56K modems! Thank god it was privatised!

    1. Roger Greenwood

      Re: Ye Gods - back to the dark ages.

      I'm conflicted. When I bought a house in the mid 80's I was treated as not worthy to own a telegraphic connection without extensive vetting, signatures and payment in advance, even though the line and phone were already installed.

      But I also knew some folks who worked for the GPO/BT at the time, excellent and conscientious engineers who worked very hard and gave fantastic customer service. They were made redundant.

      You're right, you can't turn back the clock.

  38. mark l 2 Silver badge

    While upgrading the national broadband infrastructure is needed, and openreach should probably be spun off from BT to become a separate company. I don't think offering free broadband to everyone is necessary and a good way of spending public money. I would not want to go from the situation we have now of dozens of ISP to choose from to supply your broadband just having one state run ISP, which is what would happen if there was universal free broadband, as how would the likes of Virgin, Sky, Cityfibre etc compete?

    It another promise made by politicians that will probably never materialise anyway even if Labour do get into power. And no doubt even if it was nationalised it would be privatised as soon as the Tories got back into power anyway.

  39. Kubla Cant Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Welcome back, Post Office Telephones

    This is the most fatuous of any of the numerous fatuous plans I've heard from politicians.

    Remember the three-month wait for a phone line? The cast-iron modems that cost more than a week's wages? Remember the paragons of efficiency like British Railways? When I made this point to a colleague today, he said, "But they were starved of investment". That's OK, then, because nationalised industries are never starved of investment these days, are they?

    And the cash for all this is going to come from taxing IT multinationals (today's version of the Magic Money Tree). If getting billions from Amazon and Apple and Google is so easy, why aren't we doing it already?

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not just openreach

    There are of course companies like city fibre, virgin etc who provide fibre, presumably they would have to buy them/their networks too?

    Not to mention (you'd think Prescott would have been on the blower) KCOM which provices FTTP in the Hull area which has never been and is not a BT area.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I always thought Corbyn and cronies were full of shit but this fantasy island promise of free full fibre broadband just proves it, it will cost billeeeeons and someone has to foot the bill.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Google, Amazon etc are going to happily foot the bill, alternatively they'll just pull out of the UK and save £5bn a year

  42. thondwe

    Just wish someone would nationalist the road duct industry

    Don't so much care if Broadband is nationalized or not, but can we just have ONE trench for all the utilities and if multiple utilities need to dig the road, they all do it together? Less roadworks, less temp lights (don't get me started) and less patchwork road surfaces!

    It's even been suggested that these trenches should be migrated to be under pavements - nice but VERY long term ambition - unfortunately Tories considered it but was last with Failing Grayling...

    1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds

      Re: Just wish someone would nationalist the road duct industry

      Good ideas can't be considered in politics, otherwise we'd obviously have one big program to install service conduits in every road, once, and be done with.

    2. osmarks

      Re: Just wish someone would nationalist the road duct industry

      I have no idea how practical this is, but it would be even better to install larger service tunnels/conduits under roads so they don't have to pull up the entire road surface to run a cable.

  43. Persona Bronze badge

    Copper

    Converting everything to fibre (including the last mile) might not be too expensive if they recover the copper wiring. The copper in BT's wiring is worth several times more than BT is worth.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Copper

      The installed copper is worth much more than the copper. It's the installation that provided much of BT's value.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Copper

      The copper in BT's wiring is worth several times more than BT is worth.

      But how much of that perceived value is due to telcos buying it? If they all stop buying copper & only buy glass, will copper prices fall?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Copper

      Sadly this is a myth. The scrap value of all the copper wires is much lower than the EV of BT.

  44. sbt Silver badge
    FAIL

    If it's free, enjoy your tiny bandwidth allowance

    There's no way the economics of this investment work if you run it at a loss, let alone writing off the capital cost. Australia's NBN had to be heavily scaled back from full FTTH just to make it possible for twice the cost estimated. At least they stuck to the wholesale natural monopoly element.

    I doubt they could do the whole of the UK for £15 billion. Taxes will have to rise to pay for it long term, or other services will be cut. I guess that is consistent with a "tax and spend" philosophy some left-of-centre parties espouse.

    Given the levels of trust and competence in the public sector right now, is bigger government the right direction, or is re-building the competency in more reasonable, targetted and essential areas the way to go?

    Also, where does free broadband leave any other business that's invested in this space, like mobile phone operators?

  45. codejunky Silver badge

    Erm

    Just another nutty socialist idea from the nutty socialists. Stripping away the 'tradition' voters who vote a party because their family always has, that labour has any supporters beyond that shows nothing more than a failing of the education system to explain socialism.

    However in this money pissing match the Tories also want to spend big. Where have the right wing gone? Or even a libertarian option? Small government, free markets, the right to be a free person unmolested by the anal retentive?

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Erm

      It's been nuttiness all round since 2016 and anyone not playing the game has had the whip withdrawn. So much the case that a good many responsbile MPs have decided to get out of it altogether.

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: Erm

        If those MPs were so responsible, why did they fight tooth-and-nail in Parliament for do-or-die remain, and not attempt to vote for a sensible compromise that everyone could live with?

        If there had been fewer people campaigning for a second referendum, and voting down everything else, they wouldn't have got what they wanted - but they might have got us to something like Single Market membership. Which I think is a compromise that most voters could live with.

        But that died in the joys of voting for unreastic things like eternal delay to any decision and extensions of the Article 50 process with no even vague suggestion of why.

        OK, I admit that neither main party's leadership helped. But May even went back to the House for indicative votes to see if people would compromise, and they didn't. This attempt to claim that one set of people are the "sensible / clever / honourable" ones and everyone who disagrees isn't - is one of the main things that's caused the polarisation in politics. And that's as much the fault of people like Ken Clarke (who I'm otherwise a big fan of) as it is Rees Mogg.

        1. Fred Dibnah Silver badge

          Re: Erm

          Perhaps the MPs didn't think that what they were offered was a sensible compromise. May's deal didn't include staying in the SM or CU.

          1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

            Re: Erm

            Fred Dibnah,

            May's deal strongly implied some sort of strong customs arrangement. It was what she was negotiating for and was the idea of the whole UK backstop - that if the EU wouldn't agree any deal that let NI leave the EU customs union then the whole UK should stay in some sort of arrangement - which also kept a lot of industry happy. And would involve a lot of continuing regulatory alignment between the UK and the EU. Basically as close to membership as May could get without accepting Freedom of Movement.

            As far as I can see it, and everything May said and did from her speech at the 2016 party conference onwards was pretty much consistent with this, her two principles were dumping freedom of movement and being able to do independent trade deals. She was after the closest future arrangement she could get that allowed both of those - hence the Chequers deal, and the various shades of customs agreement she tried to get.

            My reading of the post referendum polling (unreliable because most people are very unsure about hypothetical polls so you get loads of "don't knows") is that most people wanted to get rid of freedom of movement. A large minority of remain voters included. I think it was about 60-65%. But similar numbers also wanted to keep Single Market access. When polled about choosing one or t'other there was a decent majority for keeping FoM and staying in the Single Market. So even though May didn't see that, had there been a big move from remainer types to coalesce round that as a compromise, more moderate leavers like Johnson and Gove (and large chunks of the Conservative party) would be happy - as would quite a lot of moderate remainers (i.e. most of the rest of Tories and quite a lot of Labour).

            The problem was that with Brexit faltering a large number of politicians on the remain side decided to go all out for the win, and having a second bite of the referendum cherry. This destroyed May's premiership - and her deal was so shit that it polarised opinion still further. Rather than Brexiteers mostly saying, "oh well it's too hard" a bunch decided that if no acceptable terms for leaving were on offer - then we should go the whole hog and hard no-deal Brexit. Hence a tiny group of MPs (the ERG and the "Spartans"), with fewer than 60-70 people would have been the only ones getting what they wanted. And make no mistake, no-deal Brexit was looking increasingly likely - by miscalculation rather than design - but we couldn't keep going on extending the deadline - yet not even voting the hold a second referendum so that was always going to take 9 months to organise, which was too long for an extension.

            Whereas if enough soft Brexit and remain MPs had voted for full Single Market access in the indicative votes - then May might have gone off and negotiated that. Which would be much easier to do.

            People went for the high risk winner-takes-all approach. On both sides obviously, as that was clearly what Johnson was going for with his divisive tactics as PM - and May's deal could have got through with the ERG hard-Brexiteer types too. But I think that's why this Parliament deserved to be put out of our misery.

            Personally I don't think remaining in the EU is a viable option, after voting to leave it. Not unless there's massive changes, which there's no appetite for. The Brexit Party wouldn't go away, and some future Conservative government in 5-10 years time could just win and take us out, citing the unfulfilled referendum result. There's a good chance of another major Eurozone crisis in the next recession, or the one after - the structural problems of the Euro have barely been touched. And there'd be an awful lot of betrayed Brexit voters complaining about every minor foible of the EU. Hard Brexit will entrench a small (ish) group of very unhappy remain voters too - though I suspect there's fewer of them, at least a third of voters have wanted to leave the EU since the 70s (though I think numbers dipped in the mid-80s) - Single Market membership with some policies to address the issues created by freedom of movement could have been a nice sweet spot that upset everyone the least.

            Johnson's deal will be a less close relationship (a direct consequence of the choices made by remain campaigners) - Labour winning would be highly unpredictable. They want us to join the Customs Union but have co-decision or veto over EU trade policy - something Norway, Switzerland and Turkey haven't been allowed. I can't see them getting very much, then who knows how their second referendum would go, when they came back with May's deal again, with a slightly reformed backstop.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Erm

          @I ain't Spartacus

          LOL that you think Brexit is about compromise.

          1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

            Re: Erm

            Anon,

            All politics is about compromise. See my post above. When you hold out for everything you want, you often get nothing. In first-past-the-post systems you have big parties comprising groups of people with different views - who've made their compromises pre-election. So the voters know roughly what to expect in advance, but smaller single-issue groups of voters get much less influence.

            In more proportional systems you get small parties, and much more chance for the electorate to vote their actual beliefs (without being forced into tactical voting) - but the outcome is way less predictable and comes down to the post election horse-trading.

            In neither case does anyone get what they want without compromise. I voted for Brexit hoping for something like the Norway option, expecting that the more remain politicians would coalesce around that as the least-worst option. We nearly got a no-deal Brexit, which only about 10-15% of the electorate (and MPs) wanted - now it looks like we're on for a Canada free-trade deal style Brexit, which is a compromise I can live with, but many other soft-leavers would prefer remaining in the EU to.

            So be careful trying to portray the people you disagree with as the "nasty" ones who won't compromise. In post-referendum polling about 65% didn't want Freedom of movement, similar numbers wanted Single Market access - and when put to the choice it was about 55-60% for staying in the Single Market. With only 60-odd hard leave MPs and 450-odd remain voting ones (out of 650) you'd have thought that a Parliament much more remain dominated than the population (but with 80% elected on "leave" manifestos in 2017), would have jumped at the chance of the Single Market compromise position. May and Corbyn are both unsuited to compromise though and were given little help to become so.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Erm

      Purely anecdotal, and a tiny and extremely biased sample, but FWIW....

      I've been out canvassing for, ahem, a well-known political party five times in the last few weeks. It's an affluent area on the fringes of outer London where suburbs break up into small home counties towns. Observations, not just mine but others who have longer experience canvassing the area:

      1. The Labour vote has collapsed outside traditional core heartlands. Middle class Labour voters are few and far between.

      2. A lot of people really don't like Johnson. A lot of people really don't like Corbyn.

      3. The traditional centre party squeeze effect on Lib Dem support seems to be running more strongly than usual, apart from strong Remain supporters. My guess is that both Lab and Con leaders are further from the centre than usual, and that this strengthens floating voters' impulse to run back to the perceived safety of their original home. (The "don't vote Lib Dem or you'll let in Boris / Corbyn" effect.)

      4. Counter-balancing that is a LOT of "Well, normally I vote Labour / Conservative, but I really don't like Corbyn / Boris". In this (safe Conservative) constituency, the outcome of (3) Vs (4) is where we find how big the Conservative majority is.

      5. Immigration is hardly coming up at all on the doorsteps.

      6. "Sick and tired of the whole lot of them" would probably be a landslide winner if it was on the ballot.

      7. People are mostly quite nice. Been wishes "good luck" and had sympathetic remarks about the cold, etc, from supporters of all parties and none. Which is nice.

      The only prediction I'll make is that, regardless who wins, a law banning video doorbells would get widespread cross party support! Bloody things... ;)

  46. adam payne Silver badge

    A BT spokesman said: "It should be a top political priority to super-charge the roll-out of full fibre broadband and 5G right across the UK so we can build the digital economy of the future"

    Fixed that for you.

    "It should be a top political priority to pay us from the public purse to roll-out something close to full fibre broadband and 5G right across the UK so we can build the digital economy of the future and charge a ridiculous amount every month for it".

  47. xpz393
    Unhappy

    Broadband's free, but the leccy meter has just run out of credit again.

    Sighs and lights a candle.

  48. AliSnackbar

    I've just landed from China to read this crazy nonsense. State Internet no thanks - like being in the matrix.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      In the US, some cities have adopted municipal internet provision as an alternative to the monopoly providers who abuse their customers.

      1. AndrueC Silver badge
        Meh

        A lot of stupid shit happens in the US. It's a very different telecoms market and how they do things has no bearing on how we do them.

  49. RobertLongshaft

    Free shit for everyone.

    Where political parties go when they have no actual policies left.

    This Labour party are the biggest danger this country has seen since the end of the second world war.

    1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds

      There's an awfully strong connection between the danger then and the danger now.

      https://www.thejc.com/comment/leaders/to-all-our-fellow-british-citizens-1.491812

      In 70 years the British Nazis have tried dressing in Nazi gear, as skinheads, as 'nationalists', and many other disguises, but none of those ever fooled British voters. Sadly they've now discovered that wearing a red rosette works, at least on hard-core Labour supporters. We can only pray they can't fool enough others in this election.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What about auto-updates?

        >> “Zionists” — the word used by antisemites when they mean “Jew”

        It reminds me of 1984 and Newspeak - remove the distinction to control the discussion.

        https://www.theguardian.com/news/2019/mar/07/debunking-myth-that-anti-zionism-is-antisemitic

        1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds

          Re: What about auto-updates?

          So, you're saying antisemitism is a Zionist conspiracy? Glad we've cleared that up...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: What about auto-updates?

            “Zionist conspiracy”???

            No and putting words into people’s mouth is the very problem.

            no “conspiracy” *You* are dumping words not even used, to twist and colour the original point. The definitive strawman.

            I mention semitism and Zionism are two separate concepts, with an article supporting the point. there is no mention at all of conspiracies until *your* comment. *You* are colouring it with *your* prejudices and biases.

            One is about race and is wrong, the other is about geography and politics.

            Racial prejudice is wrong, geopolitical discussion is not. There can be people who agree with both, neither or one of them.

            Of those, the ones who agree in racial prejudice, the specific variant here being anti semitism, are WRONG. No question.

            But Those who question the borders of Israel/Palestine are not different from those questioning the borders of Kurds/Catalan/Rohingyas/Kashmiris. Questioning borders and a country’s war actions when there is disagreement is NOT WRONG.

            There is nothing special or privileged about Israel’s border dispute versus all the other border disputes, involving ethnic identities, all around the world.

            The prejudice to *any* ethnic identity is wrong, Palestinians too.

            By your logic, by not allowing discussion of Israel’s borders and action, as one does with ANY other nation state, you would defacto be anti Palestinian and thus racist and an Islamaphobe, by your very logic, and thusIslamphobia is some a Palestinian ”conspiracy”. This is absurd. I don’t believe in conspiracies and nonsense like you mention.

            If your logic does not work on the side you don’t agree with, it doesn’t stand.

            Come up with unprejudiced arguments to support your case, and don’t throw strawmen and red herrings. No conspiracies and tin foil nonsense.

            I am not supporting Corbin, but that article comes across as written with prejudice, but on the other side, which is just as bad. That article does not contribute to a balanced discussion, and fails to make the case it is trying to.

            Fight prejudice in all its forms, but not by showing it.

            1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds

              Re: What about auto-updates?

              WTF triggered that mad rant? Oh yes, it was your antisemitism.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: What about auto-updates?

                Not rant, but what triggered it? Your prejudice Dave.

                Labelling any disagreement with loaded terms is veiled censorship.

                You’ve lost all credibility. Don’t agree will male genital mutilation. Anti Semitic. Don’t agree with the killing of Palestinian civilians, anti Semitic!

                At this rate, if I don’t speak Hebrew anti Semitic...

                Identity politician you are.

                I only have have myself to blame in trying to engage in constructive discussion with a troll.

  50. toffer99

    Since privatisation, £54billion has been paid out in share dividends. That is twice as much as full-fibre rollout would have cost.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Since privatisation, £54billion has been paid out in share dividends.

      And if they hadn't had the cash from the share sales they'd have had to borrow the money for investment from the banks. That would have paid out a lot more than £54b, but to bankers not to ordinary folks & pension funds.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        {Citation required}

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Indeed a citation is required.

          Ordinary people and pension funds have been getting bt dividends for decades. Just buy the fricking shares.

          If BT was so great, open a SIPP, buy BT shares and walk asleep into your retirement.

          Bullshit banker boogeyman nonsense.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            I think you misunderstand my point.

            When a large company wants to raise cash for investment it has several options. It can borrow from a bank, and pay interest in return, or it can issue shares. Shareholders usually expect dividends.

            In the case of BT, 65% of its outstanding shares are held by institutions like pension funds (figure from the London Stock Exchange), so anyone with a pension in such a fund benefits from BT dividends. That strikes me as much preferable to paying interest to bankers & their bonuses.

            Without privatization any investment would have been financed by loans or by the taxpayer, and reluctance to do that was the cause of the chronic underinvestment. That's what Corbyn's dogma wants to take us back to.

  51. andy 103
    FAIL

    There's a reason it's never been achieved

    If the private sector haven't achieved this then how the fuck do the Labour party think they will?

    No really, that's all.

    1. martinusher Silver badge

      Re: There's a reason it's never been achieved

      >f the private sector haven't achieved this then how the fuck do the Labour party think they will?

      They can use a different RoI model. Its probably wrong to think of companies as 'nationalized' -- that is, a branch of the government -- but rather a company that's owned either outright or majority owned by the government. (Similar to Crown Corporations in Canada.) The problem with private investment is that it tends to go where the returns are -- in the absence of a regulated monopoly (or generous local subsidies) there's no incentive to provide a universal service. Since data service is a utility, like water or electricity, it needs to be managed like one.

      (Oh, wait a minute, utilities in the UK are a privatized shambles these days, aren't they? Oh well, back to the drawing board.....)

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    WIN:WIN

    Whether the Labour plan gives you free broadband or the Conservatives re-privatise British Broadband and we end up with an infrastructure company seperate from BT, this is a win for which ever side you're on.

    The difference between the money expended by Labour nationalistaion and received on Conservative re-privatisation is unlikely to be be more than the £5 Billion the Conservatives are going the hand over to bribe/incentivise BT for the roll out of paid for fibre broadband to parts of the UK.

  53. martinusher Silver badge

    There's no such thing as 'free'

    Back in the good old days a supply of water was regarded as a right, not a commodity, so water was supplied to everyone regardless (and it wasn't metered). It was paid for by a 'water rate', though -- water wasn't free, it was just regarded as important for a civilized society. Now its a commodity, bought and sold, raw material for the financial engineers. The companies that bought the water systems off the public made a killing because the infrastructure was already in place, all they had to do was figure out how to dice and slice and run a decent PR department to explain why a couple of weeks without rain resulted in a drought.

    Data is a commodity like water and like water its becoming essential to the proper functioning of society. Left to the modern free market its build out will be slow and patchy since the market is only interested in RoI, not how it gets the return. So you need public investment to build out the system. The trick will be to figure out how to make that investment -- and reap the benefits -- without the financiers swooping in at a later date and stealing it**. Even if this is prevented there will still be significant cost involved so the broadband won't be 'free', it will just be paid for using a different model to the one used by the City.

    Its all a bit of a pipe dream, anyway -- the government probably doesn't have access to the expertise needed to specify how to build out a universal data service (the mere fact that politicians use the term 'broadband' mean they're already well behind the curve). But its a nice to think that someone is thinking of you, even if its just for the election.

    (**For an explanation of how this works try Terry Pratchett's "Going Postal". Unfortunately unlike the Discworld the good guys usually don't win in our one.)

  54. Hubert Thrunge Jr.
    Coat

    Nationalise The Outsource..

    Once they've nationalised it, and realised that they can't actually do it themselves, they could outsource it to Crapita. What could be worse?

  55. steviebuk Silver badge

    So no more CCTV then

    "It will also prevent the use of digital infrastructure for surveillance"

    1. Tom Paine Silver badge

      Re: So no more CCTV then

      Of course, because only evil capitalists would provide internet access that allowed cyber attacks. The People's Internet will be scrubbed clean of malignity under the wise guidance of the Great Grandad.

  56. Duffaboy

    The reason Labour are touting this is

    They know they haven't a prayer of winning the 2019 election. Just think about it for a minute they are promising full fibre internet everywhere even so that includes rural and remote places like snowdonia. That's right the Labour Party are promising free internet access to every home in the uk by 2030 you can't even make a cell phone call in some parts of scotland and wales.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The reason Labour are touting this is

      Plenty of places in England you can't make a call or sms too!

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nationalising OpenReach itself might not be that bad?

    Don't we the taxpayer already subsidize a lot of OR only for us to have it rented back to us? Like, the govt already regulates and spends a lot of money on OR where it won't go. Having the OR fibre nationalised where there is already a monopoly would be like South Korea or other cities where they run their own networks. As long as you could choose your provider over the fibre then it doesn't seem that dumb.

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My biggest concern about this idea is that if it happened at some point in the future there would be a decision whether to invest £xbillion in upgrading/maintaining it or spend that money on the NHS or something similar. The obvious outcome is that if the goal of delivering fibre by British Broadband is ever achieved (which I very much doubt, let alone to timescale and budget) it will slowly fall apart over time due to lack of investment and will slowly become over staffed/over bureaucratic and expensive to maintain and run.

    At some point we will therefore end up with a two tier system for those that can/want to afford it whilst the BB slowly rots.

    I wonder what will happen to all the extra staff required to get this done in the timecales too as presumably they would never be laid off.

    I also wonder what is to prevent all the internet companies who face picking up the bill for this simply pulling out of the UK. I look forward to reading exactly how this tax will be imposed.

  59. mark4155
    Joke

    The Climax Of Fibre

    A helpful guide to how fibre was conceived .....

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7Oz9D4Q_c0&t=2533s

    You should find the climax of the subject (Lesley Judd - for it is she) at 25 Minutes into the documentary, the first 25 minutes is just simple foreplay.

    And being the BBC they have "dug an enormous hole" - no change there then.

    Toodle Pip.

  60. Tom Paine Silver badge

    338 comments?

    This should be fun. I haven't started reading the comments yet but I can already smell my eyebrows singeing...

  61. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's interest reading the BBC's take on the subject......

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-50432073 - Will fibre broadband be obsolete by 2030 - and what about 5G?

    Namely this.....A connection using both fibre and copper (FTTC) can reach speeds of about 66Mbps.

    Do they get their journalists from primary school arts courses or haven't they heard of G.Fast ?

  62. The Dogs Meevonks

    This is the exact point I was going to make.. competition with the services is needed... but everyone has to use the same infrastructure. When one company has controlled the infrastructure it's been to the detriment of competition. Look how hard/expensive it was for companies to lease lines from BT and how they were forced into letting competitors install equipment in the exchanges... and those areas were companies have built their own separate infrastructure and everyone is locked into a monopoly.

    So bring back public ownership of the infrastructure and every single company has a level playing field and can instead compete on price/performance... exactly how it should be.

    I'd go as far as suggesting the same thing for all essential utilities. Public ownership and control of the infrastructure and competition is on a level footing for everyone else.

  63. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If they get the Chinese involved, they can save a fortune.

    I'm sure Huawei would be only too willing to help.

    LOL

  64. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Maybe if BT / OFCOM / ISPs

    hadn't screwed much of the general public over the last 2 decades, there wouldn't be any call for nationalisation now.

    For UK citizens to be getting 2 Mb/s in nearly 2020 is testament to just how much industry has dragged its feet in the interests of profit over national infrastructure.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Maybe if BT / OFCOM / ISPs

      I live in France, I get 2 - 3 Mbit/s max. It's not just the UK, it's geography.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Maybe if BT / OFCOM / ISPs

        It's not about geography. There are enough people complaining they can't get decent landline broadband in areas close to towns.

        And in Cornwall, the only reason fibre exists is because of EU subsidies - the UK government showed as much interest in supporting the far southwest as it did when it promised to divert the railway line inland at Dawlish 5 years ago, i.e. none.

  65. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Streaming 4K video

    BT has got everyone covered.

    LOL

  66. osmarks

    While I *do* want a faster internet connection (currently on slow BT VDSL which they call "fibre" because after the copper connection there's a fibre line to somewhere), this would probably do the opposite.

  67. quartzz

    I told Jeremy Corbyn I want hoverboards. he said he could do that. he asked me what they were, I said there was a network of peters, which he could access through a competer. if he used something called goggle, he could find out what hoverboards were on a competer. he said he'd do that, and I'd have my hoverboard by 14th December.

  68. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Free broadband you say?

    I almost choked on my Brexit Burger!

    1. Danny 2 Silver badge

      Re: Free broadband you say?

      Brexit nothing burger, ftfy.

  69. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'll be voting for...

    "None of the above"

    1. Danny 2 Silver badge

      Re: I'll be voting for...

      I knew a guy who tried to register a party named "None of the Above". Apparently that phrase is specifically and uniquely banned in electoral law. I suggested trying "None of these fuckers".

  70. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Corbyn and Abbott will be so bad for this country...

    ...that they'll make Brexit look like a small clerical error. That bad.

  71. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Pint

    Farage...

    Has anyone checked his party's manifesto for...

    Free --->>>

  72. Dr Kerfuffle

    State Control is the likely result

    Oh great - just what we need, a state controlled internet infrastructure.

    Forget about how nice it would for rural areas to get a decent internet speed.

    That is just the window dressing. The true purpose is to let in state control of content access through the back door.

    Do you trust Corbyn and his cronies to decide what websites and content you can access?

    See how well this works in China or North Korea (if they can get internet access at all!).

    For them it is worth the high cost to be able to control what you can or cannot see.

    No this is not just wild conspiracy theories - socialist/marxist governments just can't help themselves if they allow the opportunity.

  73. Nifty

    Will we be able to buy private internet insurance for when the queues for the state run version are too long?

  74. RivetingTaleBro

    Typing this from my 1gbit fibre connection

    My experience is that if the goverment says they're going to do something it's more than likely to be a botched job.

    It seems British politicians are having a go at populist rhetoric now too, it works, plenty of people just want to believe in something, even if its bullshitt.

    African guy

  75. Bigbrowndog

    Free Broadband but who

    This proposal would allow Government to exert mass censorship on a whim, have mass visibility and effectively be Big Brother. Is this what people want to sign up to?

    If broadband is supplied to all consumers and businesses by one business then that one business can see everyone's transactions. It also means that one business can control what you can and cannot view / have access to.

  76. 89724102172714182892114I7551670349743096734346773478647892349863592355648544996312855148587659264921 Bronze badge

    ...want...free...broad...band...

  77. frankyunderwood123

    There's a much simpler way to do this...

    Just make all providers 'not for profit' (within reason).

    Also, don't make it free - just make it a fair price.

    What that would mean in practice, is that shareholders don't call the shots, that rank profiteering can't happen and that the proceeds of success are shared by all employees of a company offering services.

    The incentives to expand and rollout services would still be there - the C'team in a company and the upper management would still enjoy profits, but at a more reasonable rate. Profits would also be shared by all employees.

    The market would still be a free market - competition still very much possible - there just would be no more fat cats reaping in billions by speculating.

    You could argue it is these shareholders that are financing operations, if it weren't for the fact that they are raking in so much money.

    No more bonuses in the millions to top execs - just a reasonable reward based on experience, responsibility and input.

    Surely that is a far better way to operate than, I have to say, a crackpot scheme. I dislike Johnson massively, but he is correct on this one - it is a bonkers idea that is quite simply doomed.

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