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A Summary of the Broadband Policies from Minor UK Political Parties

Thursday, April 16th, 2015 (11:13 am) - Score 639
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Over the past few days we’ve worked to highlight any broadband related commitments from the Green (here), Libdem (here), Labour (here), UKIP (here) and Conservative (here) Parties. But there are plenty of smaller, often more region specific, parties too and here’s a short summary of what we know about them.

As before we remain a broadly political neutral website and over the past 16 years we’ve been just as happy to praise, as well as criticise, the failings of both past and present Government’s with equal measure. In that sense we tend to judge political policies by how detailed, practical and economically viable they are, but we’ll avoid saying X is better than Z; that’s for you to judge.

Take note that there are a lot more “minor” parties beyond these, although many of them have not published a 2015 Manifest for the coming 7th May General Election or are simply too small for us to realistically include.

But broadly speaking pretty much all of the minor parties use such vague language that it’s hard to distinguish them from existing Government policy, the exception being the SNP and their repeated calls for a Universal Service Obligation (USO) on broadband. However the UK coalition government did recently call for a 5Mbps USO to be investigated. Also Plaid Cymru reiterated their aim to deliver 30Mbps for all.

SDLP (N.Ireland)
http://www.sdlp.ie

Policy on Broadband:
Unknown – But has recently expressed a general desire to improve broadband and mobile connectivity in rural areas.

Sinn Fein (N.Ireland)
http://www.sinnfein.ie

Policy on Broadband:
Unknown – But has recently expressed a desire to “continue to scrutinise broadband roll out to ensure that all rural communities get access to the fastest broadband available“.

Ulster Unionists UUP (N.Ireland)
http://www.uup.org

Policy on Broadband:
The UUP’s goal for 2011 – 2015 was to “Work with DETI to promote the increase in availability of Broadband connections to rural and farming Communities.” As such its approach is broadly matched with the DUP.

Democratic Unionist Party DUP (N.Ireland)
http://www.mydup.com

Policy on Broadband:
Unknown – But generally appears to support the UK central Government’s Broadband Delivery UK programme with BT (example).

Scottish National Party SNP (Scotland)
http://www.snp.org

Policy on Broadband:
[We will] seek additional investment to support a more rapid roll out of superfast broadband and 4G across Scotland and to support wider and affordable access to the internet in our most disadvantaged communities, and for a Universal Service Obligation to be applied to telecoms and broadband providers ensuring everyone is able to access the communications they need.”

Plaid Cymru (Wales)
https://www.partyof.wales

Policy on Broadband:
We want to see an improved broadband connection, getting everybody online so that people can do business from home, with a target that all parts of Wales have access to speeds of at least 30Mbps and ensure that mobile phone operators provide a better service in all parts of Wales.”

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he is also the founder of ISPreview since 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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