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Plaid Cymru targets 30Mbps broadband for Wales as parties launch election manifestos

Wednesday, April 15th 2015 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

Plaid Cymru has set a target of delivering 30Mbps broadband to the whole of Wales if it wins the general election.

The party’s manifesto also calls for better mobile phone coverage in Wales.

The document says: “We want to see an improved broadband connection, getting everybody online so that people can do business from home, with a target that all parts of Wales have access to speeds of at least 30Mbps and ensure that mobile phone operators provide a better service in all parts of Wales.”

The Liberal Democrat manifesto, launched this morning by leader Nick Clegg, promises to “complete the rollout of high-speed broadband, to reach almost every household (99.9%) in the UK”.

It also says it will rollout high-speed broadband to small business in rural and urban areas.

The Lib Dems also want to “build on the success of Tech City, Tech North and the Cambridge tech cluster with a network across the UK acting as incubators for technology companies.

They will also “maintain and develop the award-winning government digital service, and the principle of digital by default in public services, pressing ahead with plans to extend this to local government.”

Developing digital skills, especially among young people and the unemployed, is also a priority for the party.

UKIP’s manifesto, which was also launched today, makes no mention of broadband or mobile infrastructure.

'Affordable, high speed broadband'

The Labour Party promised to ensure that “all parts of the country benefit from affordable, high speed broadband by the end of the Parliament” in its manifesto.

It also pledged to deliver the infrastructure needed to extend mobile coverage and reduce not-spots – areas with little or no mobile signal.

It says it will do this by working with the mobile industry and regulator to maximise private sector investment.

Labour also said it will “support community-based campaigns to reduce the proportion of citizens unable to use the internet and help those who need it to get the skills to make the most of digital technology”.

The Conservative party promised to deliver “the most comprehensive and cheapest superfast broadband coverage of any major European country” should it win next month’s general election.

It says ultrafast broadband – speeds of 100Mbps or more – should be available to “nearly all UK premises as soon as practicable”.

It also repeats the Conservatives’ aim of delivering superfast broadband – speeds of at least 24Mbps – to 95% of the UK by the end of 2017.

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