Too much of the national infrastructure that society relies heavily upon is operated for private profit. The predictable result being:
In order to ensure that essential infrastructure is run in the interests of wider society, any organisation performing a function that is essential to the UK’s infrastructure (a National Infrastructure Organisation or NIO) will be required to be a Community Interest Company operated for the benefit of the British public. This has a few benefits:
In addition to the public interest test, additional requirements will be placed upon NIOs:
Requiring these will help to ensure NIOs are responsible, transparent businesses.
A number of existing organisations are specifically targeted by this policy:
To be an effective policy, it will also cover any organisation performing one of the following functions:
NIOs are intended to provide the basic infrastructure that is essentially to a functioning society in a way that is protected from the volatility of shareholder whims. They provide the basics for innovators to provide services on top of, and without simply placing the entire service burden onto the state through nationalisation.
In the case of BT, the business would be broken up to separate the infrastructure (ducts, cabinets, poles, exchanges) from the commercial business and only the infrastructure side would become subject to the national infrastructure regulation ↩
In a similar way to BT’s telephone infrastructure, mobile operators would be required to transfer their ownership of masts into NIOs with the rest of their business remaining fully private ↩