Caller tells Labour candidate why free broadband policy is the "worst idea ever"

9 December 2019, 20:45

This caller, who owns an internet service provider, told this Labour candidate:"You're talking absolute rubbish! Free broadband is the worst idea ever. You've no idea what you're doing to ruin this industry."

Caller Leslie, who started an internet service provider 18 years ago and has 15,000 connections in the UK asked: "How on earth are we going to compete against free broadband? And can you name me a single internet service provider who is in favour of your policy?"

When Labour's Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi said things need to change rapidly, Leslie said: "No they don't. You're talking absolute rubbish. Free broadband is the worst idea ever."

"As soon as you do that, all investment in infrastructure in broadband will just stop overnight," he continued, "you've no idea what you're doing to ruin this industry. There's people in my company that are absolutely terrified of a Labour government coming in."

Mr Dhesi said broadband coverage was less than 10% and the caller said "there's no way" that's true and listed the figures.

"We've spent 18 years, we've written our own software, we've got decent hardware that we've spent millions on," he said, "we give them first class support. Suddenly Labour are going to come in and say I don't care about you lot anymore, thanks for paying all your taxes for 18 years. We're just going to screw you over and take over."

Leslie suggested investing in the infrastructure but letting the internet service providers run the service; by nationalising it, 70% of his business would be gone overnight.