Big plan would cut the internet bill of 12 million Britons to £15 a month


The labor-related think tank Fabian Society has proposed the scheme as the cost of living is skyrocketing. But it would be less generous than Labor’s 2019 pledge under Jeremy Corbyn

A man looking concerned and staring at a piece of paper

Broadband bills should be cut to £15 a month for millions of low-income families and disabled Britons, a Labour-affiliated think tank says today.

The Fabian Society’s research shows that while there are more people online now than before the pandemic, 1.5 million households still have no internet at all.

Labour’s 2019 manifesto, led by former party leader Jeremy Corbyn, pledged to roll out universal free broadband.

But it was dismissed by the Tories as an “insanely communicated plan” and “unrealistic” by experts.

While millions of people are plunged into financial hardship and poverty, the survey estimates that 14 percent of households do not have access to the Internet at home through a fixed broadband connection.

Former Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn


SIPA USA/PA images)

Access to the internet via mobile data is significantly more expensive and offers lower broadband speeds than via broadband.

During the last lockdown, some parents had to stop their children from using 3G/4G data at home due to transfer costs.

The scheme proposed by the left-wing think-tank tariff would initially be open to households receiving benefits, including Universal Credit, income support and child tax credit.

The scheme would be eligible for about 12 million households, according to the think tank.

Josh Abey, senior researcher at the Fabian Society and author of the report, said: “The pandemic has underlined how important the internet is for everyone. A digital connection should be a right, not a nice-to-have.

“But with a massive cost of living crisis facing low-income households, even poor families with digital connections will consider whether they can keep it.

“In 2019, the Labor Party promised free broadband to everyone and found that there is nothing to gain from making priceless and unachievable promises. Labor has learned that lesson.

“Today, the party can put pressure on the government by adopting the Fabian Society’s practical, cost-effective plans to close the digital divide.”

Corbyn pledged to roll out free superfast broadband to every home and business in the country by 2030.

Labor Party leader Keir Starmer



The Labor Party said at the time it will make the UK more competitive and productive, adding billions of pounds to economic output.

Unions urged Keir Starmer not to scrap Corbyn’s broadband proposal.

Unite’s Tom Murphy said problems in the country “will not be solved with faith in the market alone”, adding: “It is vital that this party, as we face the recovery and long-term transition of a green future, does not turn its back on democratic public property.

“Recent polls have reaffirmed that the majority of the public is behind communal ownership rather than going through another chaotic cycle of deregulation, collapse and bailouts.”

Murphy expressed solidarity with energy workers during the ongoing crisis before noting that the party “must not turn its back on our own ideas”.

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