Over recent weeks the Labour Party have pledged to give free broadband to every home in the United Kingdom if they win the general election.
They claim nationalising B.T (British Telecom) at the cost of £20 billion will be enough to give each household suitable fibre broadband free of charge.
The botched figure of £20 billion, which was clued up by a government assessment is nothing more than a guess. B.T came out and said the £20 billion figure was undervaluing what it would take to complete the infrastructure and instead claim it would require around £40 billion to get the job done.
Even though this seems like a perfect idea, it wouldn’t seem financially viable in the long run for profitability. Giving it away free would require increasing tax elsewhere. For example, taxing big companies like Google or Amazon more because ”they don’t pay their fair share.” Mostly you could thank them if it goes through because it will be their money propping up the free service.
I’m going to put an idea out there, how about they means test the costing against work status, benefits, and overall household income. If you are on jobseekers allowance or employment support allowance in the work-related group, you should be allowed minimal broadband for free while searching for work, and once you find a job, you should contribute towards broadband costs. I have placed a list below of how I think it should work.
- Job Seekers or ESA wrag – Free until employment (turned off during sanctions).
- Household income less than £10,000 per annum working or in receipt of a none job-seeking benefit – £2 a month.
- Household income between £11,000 to £20,00 per annum (same conditions as number 2) – £4 a month.
- Household income between £21,000 to £40,000 per annum – £6 a month.
- Household income of £40,000 or more per annum – £8 a month.
- NHS or public services staff – £2 a month.
- Armed forces – £2 a month.
- Pension Age – £2 a month.
As you will see, this method is more profitable, and these costs will help provide better infrastructure. These figures and tiers are still much lower than current prices for fibre broadband as the average person is paying £20 per month for broadband.
Let me know what you think in that comment section. Will free broadband work, or do you think we should bring in a tiered service?