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Conservative manifesto: 5G, 'near universal' broadband and free mobes for PC Dixon

They still want the Snoopers' Charter, though

Election 2015 Hot on the heels of Labour, the Conservatives today launched their manifesto – which matched their rivals for the sheer lack of detail on tech-related policy.

"We will ensure that Britain seizes the chance to be a world leader in the development of 5G, playing a key role in defining industry standards," read the manifesto. No further information was deemed necessary.

The party also pledged to roll out universal broadband and better mobile phone connections, to "ensure everyone is part of the digital economy," although rural areas will only get "near universal" superfast broadband by the next election, say the Conservatives. Meanwhile, ultra-fast broadband will become available to nearly all UK premises "as soon as practicable."

On privacy legislation the party seemed to nod to another attempt at introducing the Snoopers' Charter. "Our new communications data legislation will strengthen our ability to disrupt terrorist plots," its manifesto said.

It added: "We will keep up to date the ability of the police and security services to access communications data – the ‘who, where, when and how’ of a communication, but not its content."

In a Clockwork Orange-sounding statement it also promised to use "technology to keep criminals on the straight and narrow." The party also wants to hand out mobile phones to coppers.

Elsewhere the Conservatives pledged to continue in the same vein, rolling out "cross-government technology platforms" such as GOV.UK. The party will also push on with the rollout of the ill-fated Universal Credit programme.

"We will save you time, hassle and money by moving more services online, while actively tackling digital exclusion," the manifesto said.

The party also pledged to carry on funding robotics and nanotechnology. Echoing Labour's soundbite to also make Blighty a world-leader in tech, it said: “We will continue to invest in science, back our industrial strategies and make Britain the technology centre of Europe.” ®

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