ITSPA, the trade body for the next generation communications industry, has expressed its huge concern over the impact of Labour’s plan to nationalise Openreach on the industry and customers.
The Labour Party has announced plans to provide ‘free’ broadband to every UK home by 2030 by nationalising the ‘functional divisions’ of BT, Openreach.
Labour have claimed that this would provide a major boost to the economy and create an “inclusive and connected society”.
Reacting to the news, Chair of ITSPA, Eli Katz stated that “ITSPA is profoundly concerned about Labour’s proposals. Whilst there are definitely problems with the current pace of full fibre broadband rollout, the huge upheaval to the industry could wreak havoc on the wider telecommunications sector, including the huge mix of “over the top” service providers that ITSPA represent. This would in turn only hurt customers (both residential and business) who are really starting to feel the benefits of IP communications. At a time when the industry is preparing for the PSTN switch off, this would be a huge additional burden and distraction”.
Katz added “These proposals threaten the competitive telecoms market that has brought huge innovation and choice to UK customers over the past 25 years. Whilst, we agree that greater investment is needed to rollout full fibre broadband as the shift to all IP approaches, we believe that the only practical way of doing this is through a mix of public and private investment.”