Prime Minister Boris Johnson called Labour’s pledge for free broadband for all “fantastical” during his appearance on the special election programme on BBC 5 Live.
Labour announced yesterday that if elected, they would nationalise Openreach, the digital network arm of the country’s biggest broadband and mobile phone provider.
They said the cost of nationalising BT would be set by parliament and paid for by swapping bonds for shares.
When asked if he would introduce free broadband on the programme, Johnson said that what he would not do is introduce “some crackpot scheme that would involve many, many billions of taxpayers’ money nationalising a British business.”
What does the public think about Labour’s pledge?
#freebroadband has been trending on Twitter all morning, with people sharing their views on the new pledge. Reactions have been mixed.
People saying #freebroadband isn’t something essential like the NHS or housing. Well, it is if you use the internet for work, or to find work. Or to fill in government forms online. Or if you’re housebound and don’t have any other options for socialising.
— Alex Charlton 🌹 (@AlexJCharlton) November 15, 2019
Free broadband in every home worth 20 billion pound if Labour get in? I'd rather pay for my own broadband and the money be used for more essential resources like the NHS thanks. #freebroadband
— Cilla13 (@bethre13) November 15, 2019
You need internet to apply for disability/jobseekers allowance, and applying for jobs in person is almost unheard of now. #FreeBroadband will open up possibilities for the most vulnerable rural, typically elderly working class people, who these charlatans claim to care about. https://t.co/kM1khORxx5
— Dril Kafka (vibe checked) (@RuairiWood) November 15, 2019
Words: Hannah Wilson | Image credit: Foreign and Commonwealth Office