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UK LibDem Party Fails to Detail 2010 General Election Broadband Plans

Posted: 14th Apr, 2010 By: MarkJ
liberal democrat uk political partyThe UK Liberal Democrat Party has today issued its Manifesto (Download .PDF) for the forthcoming 2010 general election, which follows identical moves by Labour (here) and the Conservatives (here) earlier this week. However the word "broadband" only managed to crop up ONCE throughout the entire document.

[Liberal Democrat Manifesto Statement]

Support public investment in the roll-out of superfast broadband, targeted first at those areas which are least likely to be provided for by the market.

That's it, nothing else, not a single clear hint of what they'd actually do beyond one extremely vague sentence. We have in the past been critical of the LibDem's for not talking about their policy on next generation broadband deployment enough and little appears to have changed.

We know from past news that the LibDem's support Labours plan to deliver a minimum broadband speed of 2Mbps to everybody in the UK by 2012. They also back Labour's 50p +vat per month tax on phone lines, albeit calling for "pensioners and the least well off" to be exempt. They have in the past defined Next Generation Access as offering speeds of 40Mbps+ and seem to agree with Labours 2017 target.

Still this is by far the most disappointing manifesto so far, at least from a purely broadband point of view. Both Labour and the Conservatives have gone further and even defined two sets of reasonably different ideas for achieving the same thing. We had hoped to see more meat on the bone with this LibDem manifesto and believe that a golden opportunity to do something fresh has now been missed.
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