Statement: Reaction to Labour Party’s free broadband pledge
Lloyd Felton, chief executive of County Broadband, which is rolling out full fibre networks across rural East Anglia, said: “The announcement highlights the importance of full fibre access for all. However, it also shows an alarming lack of understanding about the complex nature of full fibre rollouts and the fact that, unlike by comparison the rail industry that operates rail franchises, the industry has already invested billions of pounds in building its own infrastructure over which the service is delivered, in direct competition to BT.
“This proposal would almost certainly lead to delays or at worst derailment of existing full fibre investment and new network roll-outs. It is broadbrush, and makes no mention of how customers would be served and supported, and provides no recognition for what has been achieved by the many Alternative Network providers (AltNets) who are currently active in providing a competitive full fibre solution.
“The competitive nature of the current market in the UK has meant consumers already benefit from one of the lowest cost broadband services in Europe. Broadband is an essential utility and whilst we share the ambition to bring future-ready full fibre connectivity to every home and business, we believe a mix of public and private investment is the only realistic strategy to deliver the service efficiently, without the need to bring significant cost to the public purse.”
Residents and businesses can find out if they’re in a village covered in the rollout by using our postcode checker here.