Plans by the opposition Labour Party to nationalise the provision of broadband by 2030 has caused turmoil in the telecoms sector.
Under the proposal, Labour would offer free internet access to every household in the country with £20.3 billion invested in speeding up the introduction of broadband.
At the same time Openreach, which supplies wholesale access to the broadband network to third party suppliers would be nationalised. Openreach remains a part of BT, but was legally separated from the main company in 2017 on the instructions of the regulator Ofcom.
Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said the move would boost productivity and would be paid for by a tax on tech giants including Google and Amazon. The Conservatives described the plans as a fantasy that would cost taxpayers billions.
BT’s shareprice was down 2% in morning trading, while TalkTalk announced that the sale of its full fibre broadband business to FibreNation, would be put on hold until after next month’s election.
Virgin Media, whose parent Liberty Global is planning a dedicated company for the rollout of fibre broadband in the UK, said private investment was ‘essential’ in delivering improved broadband.
At Cable Congress on Thursday, Sir Philip Lowe the former EU Director-General for Competition, who’s now a partner in economics consultancy Oxera told delegates there were opportunities in both the UK and Germany, because of their light touch regulation on fibre builds