Britain's Labour Party promises universal ultra-broadband speeds by 2022 and the creation of a digital ambassador to promote the nation post-Brexit, according to a leaked draft version of the political party's manifesto.
The 20,000-word draft includes a ten-year plan for Britain, and focuses on areas such as ultra-broadband, energy and digital opportunities. As part of this platform, Labour promises 30Mbit/s "universal superfast broadband availability" to all households in Britain by 2022.
Under the country's existing plan, universal service obligation was set at 10 Mbit/s by 2020; a proposed amendment boosting speeds to 30 Mbit/s was not included in the final version of the UK's Digital Economy Act.
"Few things are more crucial to businesses and our economy than a fast and reliable Internet connection, but 3 million households and businesses have been left incapacitated by slow internet," the document said. "We will deliver a universal superfast 30Mbit/s service availability to all households by 2022."
In addition, Labour wants to enhance mobile coverage and add more free WiFi in cities and on transportation systems, the manifesto said.
To finance these deployments, the party said it will leverage "near-record low interest rates to invest £250 billion" over ten years. That's roughly equivalent to $322 billion.
The digital ambassador, to be appointed by Labour party members, will work with technology businesses to promote the country for outside investors and vendors, and to support British companies, ranging from startups to well-established firms, the document said.
It's not the first time Labour has expressed ultra-broadband and mobile communication ambitions. In 2016, party leader Jeremy Corbyn said, "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," reported the Register.
In a 2016 report, 89% of UK premises had Internet access with speeds of at least 30 Mbit/s, up from 83% in 2015, Akamai's "State of the Internet" reported. However, only 2% of British premises had access to ultrafast broadband at speeds of at least 300 Mbit/s, the study said.
The cable operator, which recently finalized its acquisition of NewWave Communications, sees continued growth from high-speed data and business services powered by fiber-based ultra-broadband, executives told a financial conference this week.
During the first quarter of 2017, cable operators gained about 1 million subscribers in this period, while the top telephone companies lost approximately 45,000 subscribers, according to a recent study by Leichtman Research Group.
Global communications service providers continue to evolve their networks to deliver the user-driven service models and higher bandwidths demanded by consumers. At the same time, 5G densification initiatives are top of mind around the globe, with hundreds of thousands of 5G small cells needing an open, programmable and highly scalable access technology to fuel the growing demand for connectivity. As a result, 5G densification projects will demand fixed-access networks, supporting fronthaul, backhaul and crosshaul applications that provide:
Service agility by applying modern data center principles aligned with DevOps service creation and deployment
Hardware and facilities redundancy offering unprecedented business continuity
Low latency supporting the rigid specifications of the 5G standard
Network elasticity to support service growth to not just multi-gigabit, but multi-10Gbit/s levels
Cost sensitivity supporting mass market services further enabled by Fixed Access Network Sharing (FANS)
With the current maturation of 10G broadband technologies, and the heightened demand for high-speed fixed and mobile connectivity, 2017 is promising to be the year mass-market, multi-gigabit 10Gbit/s fiber services become commercially viable.
NG-PON2 broadband access technology is already in trials with multiple major network operators but is it too early for the commercial deployment of this next generation ultra-broadband technology? In this UBB2020 live radio show, ADTRAN's Kurt Raaflaub provides an update on NG-PON2 developments and chats to Light Reading's Ray Le Maistre about how this technology could play a role in production access networks in 2017.