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Affordable connections: Essential digital technologies for all

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Basic digital technologies are ubiquitous, essential services just like water, energy, voice calls and television. That was already evident before Covid-19 but the emergency we have been living through in 2020 has proved the point beyond doubt. Politicians should commit to affordable access to digital connections for all.

This paper therefore proposes a British broadband discount scheme, modelled on the Warm Home Discount for energy bills and the US social tariff scheme Lifeline. With millions of families losing their jobs or seeing their incomes plummet as a result of the Covid-19 crisis, the policy would keep people connected to essential technologies.

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Andrew Harrop

Andrew Harrop is general secretary of the Fabian Society.

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