10Mbps universal speeds? We'll give you 30Mbps, pleads Labour in leaked manifesto

Oh go on, we'll throw in a soft-boiled Brexit

The UK Labour Party has pledged a 30Mbps universal broadband speed by 2022, according to a draft leaked version of its manifesto.

The current universal service obligation has been set at 10Mbps by 2020, with a proposed amendment of 30Mbps by the House of Lords having been dropped in the recently passed Digital Economy Act.

Labour also promised to improve mobile internet coverage and expand provision of free public Wi-Fi in city centres and on public transport. "We will improve 4G coverage and will invest to ensure all urban areas as well as major roads and railways have uninterrupted 5G coverage," it said - although did not go into further detail.

The party promised to "take advantage of near-record low interest rates to invest £250bn over 10 years in upgrading our economy to ensure that our transport, energy and digital infrastructure is fit for the 21st Century."

Its more headline-grabbing, non-tech pledges included: plans to nationalise parts of the energy industry and scrap tuition fees.

Last year UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn promised to "democratise the internet" in his Digital Manifesto. "It is not fair the people living in London can enjoy 4G... where in many parts of Wales people can't even get a single bar," he said. In it, the party pledged to invest in developing broadband networks at a cost of up to £25bn as part of a £500bn infrastructure investment

The party today promised to appoint a digital ambassador to liaise with technology companies to promote Britain as an attractive place for investment and provide support to startups to scale world class digital businesses.

"The UK lags behind other countries in the extent to which our companies scale-up, with research suggesting that many of our companies have stagnant growth despite their best aspirations," it said.

Elsewhere the Labour vowed to crack down on the likes of Uber, saying it will better regulate the licensed taxi and private carriage hire sectors "in the knowledge that new technologies, consumer service and public safety all require the competitive playing field between these sectors to be levelled". ®


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