New government plans to provide 95% of UK with superfast broadband by 2017
11 May 2015 3814 Views
After months of campaigning and deliberating, polling day is now behind us. With all the election stories doing the rounds, we thought it the perfect time to take a look at what the new government is promising when it comes to internet, broadband and technology.
As we discussed in another blog, in his previous term as chancellor George Osborne promised to make broadband a basic legal right as well as improving the coverage and speeds that people in rural areas receive. Now that they will be in power for another term, the Conservatives say they will continue with their ambitious plans to provide 95% of the UK with superfast broadband by 2017.
All across the political spectrum, parties now appreciate the importance of putting digital matters centre stage. To this end, all the main parties included key broadband pledges in their manifestos, highlighting once again the ever-growing need for Britain to lead the way on universal, fast, reliable broadband.
For example, Labour pledged affordable, high-speed broadband throughout the country by 2020, while the Liberal Democrats promised to complete the roll-out of high-speed broadband so it reaches nearly every household (99.9%) as well as small businesses in both rural and urban areas.
Before the election, ThinkBroadband carried out a study to determine which constituencies offer the best broadband speed. The research concluded that constituencies that were Labour-controlled in the last parliament were more likely to have faster broadband. The top 30 constituencies, places where 90% or more of premises have broadband speeds of 30Mbps (megabits per second) or higher, were dominated by Labour, with 16 controlled by the party before parliament was dissolved in April. Conversely, 17 of the bottom 30 constituencies - where only half or fewer premises have superfast broadband – were run by Conservative councils.
Liberal Democrat-controlled constituencies, on the other hand, were well-represented at both the top and bottom of the league – with five in the top 30 and eight in the bottom 30.
This doesn’t tell the whole story, of course. Generally speaking, Labour seats tend to be in urban areas – where internet access is faster and more reliable because of better infrastructure – while the Conservatives tend to control more rural seats – where signal and coverage can be quite poor.
Andrew Ferguson, founder of ThinkBroadband, said the data doesn’t mean conclusions should be drawn about which political party is leading the way when it comes to broadband policies. “The UK telecoms market is amazingly diverse and it is impossible to credit any one single political party for the success or otherwise with respect to what services are available as the current situation is the result of some 30 years of regulation,” he explained.
He did, however, add that local MPs can (and should) exert their influence on broadband matters, to ensure their constituency isn’t left behind or at a significant disadvantage.
Whatever happens over the next few years, TenTel will always be on hand to provide you with fast, reliable, no contract broadband. We offer free installation, free delivery and a free wireless router, and we never charge our customers any sneaky connection or cancellation fees.
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