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Broadband policy is a key issue for the UK electorate in the upcoming election, with nearly one fifth (18 per cent) saying it will affect the way they vote, according to a survey of 2,500 UK residents by broadband, TV and mobile comparison site Cable.co.uk.
With as little as 1 per cent (according to current BBC and YouGov polls) dividing the two leading parties, broadband policy could decide which party triumphs.
Broadband expert and Cable.co.uk editor-in-chief Dan Howdle said of the results:
“It’s likely no coincidence that the one in five households in the UK that are yet to have superfast broadband deals made available to them matches proportionately to those who say broadband will affect the way they intend to vote.
“No doubt this is, in part at least, due to the fact that no party manifesto has promised to roll out superfast broadband to 100 per cent of households, and to a deadline acceptable to those whose homes, businesses and childrens’ educations are respectively isolated, diminished or stunted by poor connectivity.
“Comparing broadband to the headline issues, it is ironic that while parties seek to connect with us on immigration, welfare and the deficit, those getting a raw deal on connection itself wield the power to swing this election.”
Those surveyed also said they want a minimum broadband speed, on average, of 32Mbps – 600 times faster than the speed broadband providers are legally obligated to supply.
Last month, the government announced plans to raise the universal broadband service obligation (USO) – the minimum internet speed UK telecoms companies supply to consumers – from ‘dial-up’ to 5Mbps.
Meanwhile, the government plans to ensure that everybody can access a basic broadband speed of at least 2Mbps by early 2016.