Now the election is over, it is worth checking on the manifesto promises of the major parties regarding broadband infrastructure, 5G, and supporting digital developments so we can see what actually happens….
o Conservatives: The manifesto reiterates plans to give every household and business access to superfast broadband – defined by the government as 24Mbps – by 2020. The party also pledges a full fibre connection voucher for companies by 2018 and “major fibre spines” in more than 100 towns and cities by 2022, with 100 million premises connected to full fibre and plans for national coverage over the next decade.
o Labour: Having previously criticised the Tories’ 10Mbps minimum speed, Labour promises to deliver 30Mbps to all households by 2022. It will also call on the National Infrastructure Commission to report on how to roll our “ultrafast” 300Mbps broadband over the next decade.
o Liberal Democrats: In one paragraph, the Lib Dems pledge to ensure that “broadband connections and services to be provided before 2020 have a speed of 2Gbps or more, with fibre to the premises (FTTP ) as standard and unlimited usage by 2020 across the whole of the UK”. However, a bit further down in the manifesto, the party states that by 2022, every property in the UK will be provided with ” a superfast broadband connection with a download speed of 30Mbps, an upload speed of 6Mbps, and an unlimited usage cap”. There is a massive difference between 2Gbps and 30Mbps- and the manifesto doesn’t make it very clear what exactly the party’s stance on this is. Whether it’s superfast of hyperfast- the Lib Dems do indeed promise we will all get broadband.
2. 5G and supporting digital developments :-
o Conservatives: The Tories promise that by 2027, most of the UK population will have access to a new 5G network, and Wi-Fi will be available on all train services. The Tories also promise to help the creative industries get the infrastructure and technology they need to prosper.
o Labour: Labour says technology and innovation will be used to champion sustainable farming, food and fishing, and it intends to launch a £1bn cultural capital fund that aims to upgrade the cultural and creative industries to “be ready for the digital age”.
o Liberal Democrats: The Lib Dems want to support innovative industries such as the space industry and use innovation funding to “promote GP-led multidisciplinary health and care hubs”.
Not a lot of detail, lets watch out for the delivery !
(Note: With Thanks to Computer Weekly, May 2017)