Will fibre broadband be obsolete by 2030 - and what about 5G?

Labour has promised to give every home and business in the UK free full-fibre broadband by 2030 if it wins the general election.

The plan would see millions more properties given access to a full-fibre connection, though Prime Minister Boris Johnson said it was "a crackpot scheme".

If the plan went ahead and was completed on time, would it still be useful in 2030? 

Predicting what the future holds for technology is obviously difficult.

But full-fibre broadband, where ultra-fast optical cables carry data right into your home or office, is currently the "gold standard".

"There is no doubt that we need fibre connectivity, in particular all the way to the home. That's something everybody is on board with across the industry and political parties," said Matthew Howett, an analyst at Assembly Research.

While full-fibre connections can currently promise speeds of one gigabit per second, future upgrades could potentially offer speeds in terabits per second. (One terabit equals 1,000 gigabits.) 

That could be made possible by replacing the equipment at either end of the cables - in the telephone exchange and at home - without laying new cables.

If, come 2030, there is a new emerging technology and countries are thinking about replacing their full-fibre systems, the UK would start on the same footing.

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