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LONG-TERM DIGITAL ECONOMY STRATEGY
Labour: wants super-fast broadband across the country, with a rural roll-out ensured by a 50p levy on landlines.
Conservatives: want to complement a market-funded rollout of super-fast broadband with money from BBC licence fee; are keen on using ducts and other utilities infrastructure for fibre; want to change business rates for fibre to encourage new entrants.
Liberal Democrats: support Labour's 50p levy, but with conditions; want remote and rural areas targeted before urban areas; would promote public libraries as part of digital inclusion drive.
Green Party: would force BT to provide high-speed broadband to entire country; want local community banks to fund small businesses who want to set up online presence.
Pirate Party UK: wants people to only have to pay for the broadband speed they receive; wants to enforce net neutrality to allow internet start-ups to compete; wants to make ICT learning in schools less program-specific and more security-focused.
UKIP: opposes state funding for universal high-speed broadband access; opposes the 50p levy; wants local communities rather than central government to pay for a super-fast broadband roll-out where the market fails.
BNP: wants the UK telecoms infrastructure nationalised; supports the universal service obligation for broadband.
SNP: is reforming Scottish education to ensure up-to-date skills are taught.
Plaid Cymru: wants super-fast broadband for Wales; wants compulsory network sharing between mobile phone and broadband operators.
TECHNOLOGY'S ROLE IN GOVERNMENT TRANSPARENCY AND PUBLIC INTERACTION
Labour: wants to make a vast amount of public data available in a form that can be easily interrogated; wants to put public services online with a view to eventually withdrawing offline access to some services.
Conservatives: want to put all major government spending details online; want to create a new "right to government data".
Liberal Democrats: want to make it easier for people to access public services online.
Green Party: says the internet has a major part to play in making information more accessible.
Pirate Party UK: wants all government data made public; would support right of whistleblowers and other critics of government policy to voice concerns online.
UKIP: wants to use technology to let citizens engage in the democratic process; proposes national and local referenda building on the Number 10 e-petitions model.
BNP: would give citizens the right to challenge personal data held by the state and private agencies such as credit bureaus.
SNP: says Scottish government has led the way on transparency through technology; acknowledges that personal interaction is preferable to online services for some citizens.
Plaid Cymru: points out that the Welsh National Assembly already has computers to let members talk to constituents during debates.
Photo credit: BISgovUK
OPEN SOURCE IN GOVERNMENT USE
Labour: wants to publish general-purpose software as open-source "where appropriate"; points to the existing use of open-source software throughout the NHS and departmental websites.
Conservatives: are keen on open standards as the basis for more modular government IT projects, saying this would create a "level playing-field for open-source IT".
Liberal Democrats: think government should consider open-source software in all IT procurement, as it can be cheaper than proprietary or bespoke software.
Green Party: wants free and open-source software used whenever it can be "procured without significant extra costs or other detriments".
Pirate Party UK: thinks open-source software can play a role, but only where it is the "best tool for the job"; would implement current government's Open Source Action Plan, which it says is being ignored.
UKIP: would welcome a shift away from "more costly and inflexible" proprietary contracts to open-source software.
BNP: wants software to be chosen primarily on basis of security; otherwise, supports open source when cost-effective and beneficial for education.
SNP: opposes a preference for either open-source or proprietary software, arguing instead for the best-value package to be chosen at the time; notes cost of supporting open-source software; also notes unreliability of proprietary software in many large organisations.
Plaid Cymru: did not answer this question.
Photo credit: Microsoft