The Labour Party's latest pledge has caused a bit of a stir, promising to give every home and business in the UK free full-fibre broadband by 2030, if the party is elected at the next general election on 12th December.
The party has said that the achieve and effectively deliver this policy, they would nationalise part of BT and introduce a tax on other tech giants in order to help pay for it. What the party are totalling as a £20bn scheme, which is an additional £15bn on top of the current government's £5bn broadband strategy, has been underestimated according to BT Chief Executive Phillip Jansen.
The Countryside Alliance is concerned that Labour's proposals to renationalise BT risks delaying broadband delivery in rural areas. By removing private investment and stifling competition, especially in the most remote areas of the countryside, they will disincentivise other tech businesses from delivering innovative solutions which are so important in closing the digital divide.
What rural areas need is fast and reliable connectivity delivered now, not waiting another 10 years.
Rural communities' votes matter and it is time that all political parties deliver policies that improve the lives of those living and working in the countryside, not unrealistic ideas that will continue to hold them back.