Labour Party activists want 1Gbps broadband for ALL UK homes if their party wins the 2015 General Election.
The ambitious project, which dwarfs the current BDUK (Broadband Delivery for the UK) target of at least 24Mbps superfast broadband 95 per cent of homes by 2017 will apparently cost £10 billion to implement, according to pressure group Labour Digital.
The group’s Number One in Digital plan will also see 10Gbps connections rolled out to like east London’s Tech City.
The current Government’s pet tech project has been subject to criticism with many companies complaining of poor speeds that do not allow them to compete with many of the other startup hubs around the world.
Jon Cruddas, Labour MP for Dagenham and Rainham said: “Digital technology has transformed start-up costs and it has never been easier to start and run your own business. New creative cultures will generate economic wealth and deepen and enrich our experience of everyday life.”
The it’s not fully explained how these goals will be achieved. The most obvious candidate would be FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) but this could also mean the mobile networks are given a mandate to deliver gigabit services via 5G by 2020.
The Number One in Digital report said: “It is only through universal access to world class internet facilities that the economic and social benefits of the digital economy can be captured by all citizens. Although fixed line is the primary mechanism for broadband deployment, Government should also embrace wireless and satellite mechanisms where necessary.”
Given that Ofcom has schedules a 5G spectrum auction to start in 2018, this would give networks less than two years to get the job done, so this isn’t likely.
Labour’s plans don’t just include rolling out hyperfast broadband to all corners of the UK. The party wants to build a connected and engaged society.
Cruddas added: “The digital economy demands a new approach to government. Reform needs to be about human-scale communities in control of their own services, continually able to make small, focused improvements.
“Government will be about giving people more control over their lives. We will use the internet to distribute control and to push power out to the people who know best how to use it.”
Other recommendations by the Labour group include providing free basic internet for all citizens and allowing online voting in general elections, local meetings and House of Lords votes.
Labour Digital comprises more than 300 digital professionals, launched in March 2014 and gives recommendations to the party about how its digital strategy should be refined.