Should broadband in the UK be nationalised?

in reality, all of this has been a total load of old bollocks

Is nationalising broadband in the UK a good idea?

Poll runs till 14 Dec 2019, 11:58

Who cares as long as I can have it for free!
2
50%
"Free" stuff from the government carries a price I'm not willing to pay!
2
50%
 
Total votes: 4

Powehi
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Should broadband in the UK be nationalised?

Postby Powehi » 30 Nov 2019, 11:58

Leaving personal political biases aside and forgetting...

...who initially proposed the idea...

and

...how the complex infrastructure needed for such service would eventually be paid for and maintained...

...how do you feel about future governments of any party having unlimited access to everything you do online?

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Re: Should broadband in the UK be nationalised?

Postby The Prof » 30 Nov 2019, 16:44

i didn't think there was anything ominous about it until someone mentioned that on FB.

Surely they can monitor your online activity now if they wanted to.

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Re: Should broadband in the UK be nationalised?

Postby Powehi » 30 Nov 2019, 17:03

Assuming the authorities could justify a warrant, would imagine they could legally oblige providers to release individual users’ data, but don’t think they could data mine the entire population.

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Re: Should broadband in the UK be nationalised?

Postby KeithPratt » 30 Nov 2019, 17:41

One of the issues here is that Labour have essentially looked at the South Korean rollout and thought 'we can model that'.

It is a perennial issue with modern infrastructure and bureaucratic planning - the Tories for example want to ape the Australian immigration system.

The problem with this sort of thinking is that these implementations or plans often are couched in cultural, social and economic contexts that are idiosyncratic and inherent to their own country.

That aside, I would also have huge concerns about a party that is inherently authoritarian being in control of the internet. We have already seen how you can be arrested or visited by the police for saying what are deemed to be 'hateful' things on twitter. I'm not saying that it would definitely happen, but it is the sort of situation that a government would take advantage of.

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Re: Should broadband in the UK be nationalised?

Postby Jimbo » 30 Nov 2019, 17:53

If they only targeted poorer areas with free wi-fi that would be unfair to poorer people who live in more affluent areas, so WTF, give it away, give it away, give it away, now. Water, electricity and gummy bears should be free, too.
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Re: Should broadband in the UK be nationalised?

Postby The Prof » 02 Dec 2019, 13:03

The plan is to give it to everyone free. There are countries that give free energy for their citizens though they generally have an abundance the stuff.

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Re: Should broadband in the UK be nationalised?

Postby Diamond Dog » 03 Dec 2019, 06:22

KeithPratt wrote:That aside, I would also have huge concerns about a party that is inherently authoritarian being in control of the internet.


Yes, but it's a Labour initiative.
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Re: Should broadband in the UK be nationalised?

Postby Jimbo » 03 Dec 2019, 06:46

Are computers free, too? How can we enjoy the free wifi - ooh, broadband! if I can't afford a Mac?
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Re: Should broadband in the UK be nationalised?

Postby Powehi » 03 Dec 2019, 09:50

Diamond Dog wrote:
KeithPratt wrote:
That aside, I would also have huge concerns about a party that is inherently authoritarian being in control of the internet.



Yes, but it's a Labour initiative.



Indeed. Thank goodness Jezza thinks that Data is a character from that Star Tek televisual series that all the youngsters tune into on their telly boxes each week.

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Re: Should broadband in the UK be nationalised?

Postby The Prof » 03 Dec 2019, 13:23

Jimbo wrote:Are computers free, too? How can we enjoy the free wifi - ooh, broadband! if I can't afford a Mac?


So, because you have to buy an internet ready device like a computer or phone, the internet shouldn't be free? Great logic there.

Facebook and Google are free because businesses pay for it, so why shouldn't part of your Amazon Prime, iTunes subscription and some Google revenue go to pay for the method that allows them to sell to us?

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Re: Should broadband in the UK be nationalised?

Postby Deebank » 03 Dec 2019, 14:37

The idea that unelected, unaccountable global billionaire oligarchs and their monopolies proxies and paying customers having access to all your data is somehow a safer, more satisfactory state of affairs than a democratically electred government - which can be booted out if it abuses the position - seems a bit idiotic to me, but whatever... :?
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Re: Should broadband in the UK be nationalised?

Postby Corporate whore » 03 Dec 2019, 17:15

'Internet as a human right' is an idea that's time has come - its difficult to thrive in the modern world without it, and that is a direction that is only going to continue.

The problem with the Labour plan is that it is not very well thought out - or indeed thought out at all. The main criticism is that they have conflated 'the poor need internet' with 'our internet infrastructure is not as good as many other countries', And then made it worse by selecting an expensive solution to the second point (which mainly benefits the middle classes), without addressing the first point.

Consider - why do you NEED fibre? Mainly for real time gaming etc: tasks that need expensive equipment in the home. This is a benefit for the middle classes, not the poor. Until very recently I worked very efficiently from home, including video conferencing and conf calls with a good old copper 'last mile'. We also have Netflix etc, with only very minor occasional blips in the signal.

And what about people who don't have a phone line or a house? or utilise Sky? or WiFi to tablets or phones? the Labour plan as stated does not appear to address these.

Finally, if BT are the preferred supplier by the government. what about all the infrastructure and employees of Virgin, Talk Talk, Plus Net, The Post Office, EE, Sky, and all of their suppliers?

The whole thing is a hot mess, when it could have been much better positioned; some ideas off the top of my head to shoot at:

A 'free to all' basic but robust service on the model of that offered by the Post Office.

Choice of delivery mechanism

Choice of preferred access mechanism (PC, Phone, Tablet)

Free upgrades for people who can demonstrate they need the service for work

Incremental 'chrome services' for those who want them - at a cost so that they subsidise people who cant afford them.

Delivered by existing suppliers, but for a regulated cost (ironically like the 'last mile' is regulated now). This means that the only way the suppliers can make money is by reducing their costs.

This will be expensive - but not as expensive as renationalising parts of BT and deploying fibre whether it is needed or not. And the coverage is better.
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Re: Should broadband in the UK be nationalised?

Postby The Prof » 04 Dec 2019, 10:43

Good points, for sure.
I think employees of cable companies would, under these proposals, just do the same job for British Broadband.

What I'm less sure of is if this proposal means digging up roads and paths to bring a direct physical cable into every property. That would be expensive but BT Open Reach seems to be a Wifi network that your phone tries to connect to wherever you are. There must be BT Openreach 'transmitters' (for lack of a better word) positioned in various places that link together and create some kind of 'blanket' of wifi. That would seem to be more straightforward.
But again, why shouldn't Amazon, Apple and Google pay for it?

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Re: Should broadband in the UK be nationalised?

Postby Corporate whore » 04 Dec 2019, 11:53

When they quote numbers like '8% of homes have fibre' they mean fibre to physical property. A much larger proportion of the network is already fibre to exchange.

I absolutely agree that the tech companies should pay their taxes, but it wont be enough money to pay for free internet to all homes even assuming a basic service to each house.
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Re: Should broadband in the UK be nationalised?

Postby Corporate whore » 04 Dec 2019, 11:56

BT Openreach deals with all the cables, exchanges, routers etc. Nearly all of its infrastructure is physical.

BT FON is the 'free WiFi' bit: but you need to be a BT customer who agrees to allow your home hub for public use to benefit from it for free.
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Re: Should broadband in the UK be nationalised?

Postby The Prof » 04 Dec 2019, 12:42

Corporate whore wrote:I absolutely agree that the tech companies should pay their taxes, but it wont be enough money to pay for free internet to all homes even assuming a basic service to each house.


I guess it depends how much they are charged.

I couldn't find what profits the big 5 tech companies make in the UK alone, but globally their worth is more than the entire economy of the UK. Apple makes $151 million a DAY. 3 times what ExxonMobil does.

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Re: Should broadband in the UK be nationalised?

Postby Jimbo » 04 Dec 2019, 14:39

By free broadband do you mean free wi-fi? Does 5G figure into this situation?
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Re: Should broadband in the UK be nationalised?

Postby Rorschach » 04 Dec 2019, 15:14

It may be a waste of money anyway if Elon Musk's global broadband by satellite really does happen in the next few years.

I'm no expert but it does look very possible to happen to me.
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Re: Should broadband in the UK be nationalised?

Postby Corporate whore » 04 Dec 2019, 16:05

Jimbo wrote:By free broadband do you mean free wi-fi? Does 5G figure into this situation?


This is part of the problem - promise free Broadband, but the only solid statement on delivery is fibre into every home. Unfortunately from the interviews I have seen, the party promising it don't really understand what that means, let alone anyone else.
Luckily both the interviewers and the other don't appear to understand either.
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Re: Should broadband in the UK be nationalised?

Postby The Prof » 04 Dec 2019, 22:07

Rorschach wrote:It may be a waste of money anyway if Elon Musk's global broadband by satellite really does happen in the next few years.

I'm no expert but it does look very possible to happen to me.


But presumably that’s going to be a profit making venture with some kind of paid subscription.