FACE ON A BALLOON Boris Johnson has pledged to deliver full-fibre broadband to every home in Blighty by 2025.
The claim, which was made in the leadership candidate's latest £2,291-an-hour Telegraph column (paywalled), sees Johnson slam UK gov's current 2033 target as "laughably ambitious" and pledge to "unleash full fibre for all by 2025."
If we want to unite our country and our society, we should commit now to delivering full fibre broadband to every home in the land by 2025 https://t.co/YIpGDKOuLh— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) June 17, 2019
"It's a disgrace that this country should suffer from a deep digital divide so that many rural areas and towns are simply left behind," the bungling scarecrow remarked.
"The government has just set a new target for the 100 per cent roll-out of full fibre broadband by 2033. As a deadline, that is laughably unambitious. If we want to unite our country and our society, we should commit now to delivering full fibre to every home in the land not in the mid-2030s - but in five years at the outside.
"Let's say goodbye to the UK's manana approach to broadband and unleash full fibre for all by 2025."
Though Johnson acknowledges that the amped-up rollout "will cost some public money", his column - like most statements made by British MPs - fails to explain how he plans to meet this ambitious target; as per ISPreview, there's no word on how much it will actually cost, where the masses of skilled short-term labour and equipment will come from, nor how he will ensure fair competition between ISPs.
Others have pointed out that his plans will likely be hampered by the fact that the government has yet to decide whether new-build homes should be kitted out with gigabit-capable broadband as standard. Similarly, DCMS hasn't yet confirmed whether it will force landlords to provide access to their properties if tenants request a full-fibre or other connection be installed.
Commenting on BoJo's "hugely ambitious" plans, Openreach said: "We agree that full fibre can be the platform for the UK's future prosperity and no company is investing more, building faster or aiming higher than Openreach. We aim to reach four million homes and businesses by March 2021 and up to 15 million by mid 2020s if the conditions are right.
"We're already in decent shape when it comes to 'superfast' broadband, which is more widely available here than in almost any other comparable nation on earth - and has led the UK to have the leading digital economy in the G20.
"But building full fibre technology to the whole of the UK isn't quick or easy. It requires £30bn and a physical build to more than 30 million front doors, from suburban terraces to remote crofts.
"We're determined to lead the way and there's a lot that government could be doing now to help us go further and faster." µ
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