Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1065/29904

From The Socialist newspaper, 20 November 2019

Broadband: privatisation has failed to deliver, time for a socialist plan

BT Openreach internet engineer at work, photo by BT/Johnnie Pakington/CC

BT Openreach internet engineer at work, photo by BT/Johnnie Pakington/CC   (Click to enlarge)

CWU member in Openreach

Labour's policy announcement to nationalise Openreach and BT broadband infrastructure, and provide free internet for all, has had an impact. Debate on the Openreach in-house social media had to be shut down, with reminders that it should not be a forum for us to express our political opinions!

A privatised telecoms network has proven itself to have failed to deliver with only 6% of the UK with fibre-optic cables right to their front door, well behind much of the rest of the world. The failure of the market has meant that policy announcements from the Tories have spoken of investment of 5 billion of public money. If we are paying for it, we should own it!

In reality, the public has paid historically for the construction of the infrastructure of underground ducts, telephone exchanges and telegraph poles, built before privatisation in the 1980s, as well as monthly through their "line-rental".

Left to their own devices, the companies competing to be the ones to upgrade to full-fibre first has meant an inefficient duplication of the network. Multiple companies are laying fibre to the same places in the most profitable locations. At the same time less profitable areas, especially more rural ones, are left without. Even a Tory minister interviewed after the announcement acknowledged that this would be an issue unsolvable by a capitalist market.

The announcement is in line with the policy of the Communication Worker's Union (CWU) that represents workers in BT and Openreach. The process of nationalisation needs to be done in collaboration with the workforce delivering the network.

It is essential that it is communicated to workers that there would be no redundancies, an improvement in pay, terms and conditions as well as a democratic say in how work is planned and delivered. This should be extended to communications workers not directly affected by the plans, who may have fears about how their jobs could affected by a take-over.

Furthermore, it should be made clear that workers who have been sold BT shares, or hold pensions invested in BT, will not lose out. But as for the main shareholders, they don't deserve a penny.

Nationalisation of broadband, and of all telecoms companies, with the democratic control of workers, would mean that decent broadband could be effectively planned and delivered to everyone. Delivering it for free would give workers some relief from rocketing household bills.

It should be paid for by increased taxes for the super-rich, but also by taking control of the enormous wealth at the top of society by nationalising the banks and using that wealth, as part of a democratically agreed plan, to invest in infrastructure to improve all our lives.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 20 November 2019:


What we think

High Court injunction: solidarity to the CWU

CWU - ground laid for an almighty struggle


Climate change

Major funding for flood risk management needed


NHS

Save the NHS: kick out the Tories

Frimley NHS Trust: Strikers remain determined to defeat privatisation


Violence against women

What policies are needed to end domestic violence and abuse?


Socialist Party news and analysis

Broadband: privatisation has failed to deliver, time for a socialist plan

Bolton university fire: government inaction puts safety at risk

Wages flatline, while shareholders profit


Workplace news and analysis

UCU pay and pension strike: university staff have had enough

West Midlands Trains: guards strike to defend safety-critical role

PCS union: elect Marion Lloyd!

Cleaners strike over low pay at Haringey secondary school

Bradford library and museum strikers enter third round of strike action

Long hours in the world of security

NEU members' sixth-form walkouts


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Secret police infiltration of workers' movement exposed

150 protest against Leicester hospital downgrading attack

Carmarthenshire union demands no-cuts budget

Swansea: students protest against Hillary Clinton hypocrisy

Keep the National Poetry Library free

Selling the Socialist


Readers' opinion

The Socialist Inbox


International socialist news and analysis

Amazon bosses defeated in Seattle - Kshama Sawant reelected

Chile revolt continues: read eyewitness report


 

Home   |   The Socialist 20 November 2019   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Internet:

triangleTrump Twitter ban: only independent workers' voice can defeat right

triangleCan green technology and AI save capitalism?

triangleJohnson's Huawei internet deal underlines world trade tensions

triangleHow 'Prevent' training fosters racist paranoia

triangleHyperNormalisation: Arbitrary selection of ideas to confirm feelings of powerlessness

Privatisation:

triangleSocial care: End privatisation and let workers decide how it's run

triangleNHS white paper: no solution to failed Tory policies

triangleTories admit market failure - we want our NHS back!

triangleChildren in care: Privatisation is not working

BT:

triangleOpenreach and EE: Massive vote for action

triangleFight BT redundancies

triangleOppose BT site closures - national strike ballot needed

Telecoms:

triangleBattle with BT management needed to win real pay rise

triangleEE puts workers' health and safety at risk

Nationalisation:

triangle1971: Rolls-Royce crisis - when the Tories nationalised in order to secure the interests of British capitalism

CWU:

triangleRoyal mail management forced to make concessions

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

5/3/21

Budget

Tories keep bailing out bosses, while piling the pain on workers and public services

3/3/21

Budget

Not a budget for the working class!

3/3/21

Women

Women's health matters

3/3/21

Budget

Public sector workers respond to the budget

26/2/21

Labour

Liverpool Labour meltdown

24/2/21

Schools

Johnson's 'road map' for schools: Act together to protect safety

24/2/21

Uber

Drivers win case - they are workers

24/2/21

Covid

Where's the road map to jobs and wages Boris?

24/2/21

Labour

Starmer's speech a return to New Labour

24/2/21

Covid

Garment workers and Covid: Dying for less than minimum wage

24/2/21

Privatisation

Social care: End privatisation and let workers decide how it's run

24/2/21

Vaccine

Vaccine algorithm can't solve capitalist inequality

23/2/21

Britain

The struggle needs an electoral arm

17/2/21

NHS

NHS white paper: no solution to failed Tory policies

17/2/21

Covid

Covid workplace safety

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: [email protected]

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


March 2021

February 2021

January 2021

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999