The Irish electorate has been no stranger to dangled freebies in election manifestos, but for audacious vote-grabbers that send rivals scrambling fast to rubbish them, the UK Labour Party’s promise to provide free broadband for all is in a class of its own. Labour has estimated the cost of guaranteeing universal fibre broadband to UK consumers by 2030 at £20 billion (€23.4 billion), while BT reckons it will be closer to £100 billion – a somewhat different figure, all told. Either way, it’s an ambition that certainly puts the scale of the Republic’s notoriously shovel-resistant €3 billion National Broadband Plan into perspective. Notwithstanding the actual feasibility of the UK plan, there’s a touch of sheer political genius about it – and it’s not every day you can say that about Corbyn’s Labour. As for the Irish plan, the European Commission may have given it its seal of approval, but it’s not quite a “shovel-ready” reality just yet.
Source: The Irish Times November 16, 2019 03:45 UTC