The run up to the UK general election is spattered with political hot potatoes, debates and changes afoot, with a bust economy and a range of issues which are drowning the political sphere with up to the minute issues. As with the 2009 US elections, the technology field has been widely debated and is set to be a major swaying issue between the main political parties.
The current Labour government created the Digital Britain report which laid out detailed plans to roll out 2Mbps broadband to every house in the UK by 2010, which is currently on track. The report also delved into anti-piracy methods which would potentially cut off pirates and illegal file sharers and peer-to-peer users should they become repeat offenders, which even some government departments including MI5 opposed. The broadband roll out have been paid for by a 50p ($0.75) tax on every landline household bill per month to generate around £200 million ($300 million) a year towards the program.
It is fair to say that the next-generation technologies, even though the vast majority of consumers have been engaged with them for years already, will be rolled out as part of Government 2.0 on both sides of the pond.
However, the Conservatives policy on wider access broadband to rural areas could see their major voting constituencies missing out on the fast Internet access. Though the Conservatives will scrap the 50p tax on landlines per month, which was implemented to fund countryside broadband, the major areas of Conservative voting power could suffer most from the decision to hold back on subsidising rural super-fast broadband.
So in a nutshell, Labour will continue to support Digital Britain in nationwide broadband access, while the Conservatives will scrap the 50p tax demolishing Labour's plan, but instead hold off a few more years to enable everyone across the country access to fibre-optic connections.
But with open-source being somewhat embraced by the government in schools, perhaps the Conservatives would be better off trying to firm up some plans to enable open access to free, open-source software within their potential future government.
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