The Labour Party today announced plans to partially nationalise BT and provide fibre broadband services for free. So these proposals wouldn’t just impact BT but every broadband service provider in the UK who would face a state funded competitor offering services for free. Not to mention the tech services that would be taxed to help pay for this free broadband.
techUK has publicly described these proposals as a disaster for the telecoms sector and the customers that it serves. Renationalisation would immediately halt the investment being driven not just by BT but the growing number of new and innovative companies that compete with BT. You can read techUK’s full comment on the announcement here. Ultimately, these proposals would be a huge set-back for the UK's digital economy as the majority of the Government’s estimated £30bn cost for Full Fibre is being borne by the private sector. Renationalisation would put this cost back onto the taxpayer, no doubt after years of legal wrangling, wasting precious time when we can least afford it.
In more green news, the Government has launched a £315m tech fund looking for new technologies to help industry cut emissions to meet the UK’s climate targets. The scheme aims to save £1bn a year on industrial energy bills. Companies will be able to compete for a share of up to £30m of funding from the Industrial Energy Transformation Fund next summer.
Another game changer to prepare for: Instagram is removing ‘likes’ from its platform with trials currently happening across the world. This is being done to mitigate harms related to social media use. What are your thoughts on this? Let me know.
techUK news and events
This #LivingWageWeek, techUK is celebrating being a Living Wage Employer, along with 5,500 employers. We are proud to be a part of a movement of thousands of businesses going further and paying their staff enough to live on. Find out more.
Catch up on the highlights from techUK’s first ever #QuantumFuture week where we showcased the views of policy makers, investors and innovators at the forefront of the UK's burgeoning quantum technology, building on our recent workshops on quantum computing and post-quantum cryptography. If you’re interested in getting involved in this sphere, get in touch with my colleague Sue Daley.
techUK’s flagship Open Banking - A Blueprint for the Digital Economy? conference on 28 November offers an opportunity to learn about the role of open data in the digital economy, in the context of financial services, exchange ideas, foster debate, promote enterprise and encourage cross sector collaboration. The event will also provide an opportunity for product and services showcase and demonstration. Register now as spaces are filling up fast.
Finally, huge congratulations to all the techUK members and Talal Rajab, techUK’s Head of Cyber and National Security, and our President Jacqueline de Rojas who have been announced as part of the #IB100 - a list of the top 100 most influential black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) leaders in the tech sector! You can find the full list of leaders here.