Karen Allen

I fought South Shields at the May 2010 General Election for the Conservatives, gaining a 6.4% swing which was a 4% vote increase. The Conservatives polled 7,886 up from 5,207 in 2005. I was born in the North East and grew up in South Shields. I currently live in London and am employed as a Director at Lloyd's Broker Howden International.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Conservative Broadband Pledge

Conservative plans to deliver the roll out of superfast broadband at speeds of up to 100 Mbps by 2017 is great news for businesses and homes in South Tyneside and across the country. This stands in stark contrast to the Government’s new £7 per year ‘phone tax’ on every telephone line.

Gordon Brown’s Government wants to impose a new £6 + VAT tax which will be levied on every fixed telephone line in all homes and businesses across the country. Homes with multiple lines might pay multiple times. The tax would be levied on homes with and without broadband access.

Conservatives have unveiled alternative proposals to increase competition and introduce superfast broadband across the United Kingdom. The action plan will:
• Open up BT’s ‘local loop’ monopoly to other telecommunication operators, and review unfair business rate rules.
• Investigate the use of sewers and other utility infrastructure to lay broadband cables.
• Allow telegraph poles to be fitted with fibre optic cables, rather than old fashioned copper wire.
• Ensure that all new homes are capable of receiving superfast broadband through a fibre to the home network.
• Use money currently allocated to the digital TV national switchover to help establish a universal network, and after 2012, look at using this money to ensure superfast broadband reaches rural areas.

South Tyneside’s homes and businesses deserve access to the latest 21st Century technology. It’s time to end the digital divide and deliver superfast broadband to all parts of the country, including rural areas. Conservatives will open up the BT monopoly and increase competition, while Labour just want to hit homes with an unfair new phone tax. There is nothing that Gordon Brown won’t tax, which is why it’s time for change.

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