Broadband speeds are always a contentious topic and now we're going to combine them with politics. What could go wrong...?
Speaking on the Andrew Marr show on Sunday shadow chancellor George Osborne claimed a Conservative government will bring speeds of 100Mbit/sec to "the majority" of homes by 2017. He accused Labour of playing "catch-up" having used its Digital Britain report to set a target of 2Mbit/sec national broadband by 2012.
How will the Tories more ambitious targets be met? 3.5 per cent of the BBC licence fee (£4.99 per person) which is currently being put towards the digital switchover (finished by 2012) will be set aside for the expansion. "In the 19th century we built the railways. In the 20th century we built the motorways," he said. "In the 21st century, let's build the super-fast broadband network that will create hundreds of thousands of jobs for Britain."
Is this realistic? It's debateable, but 2017 is a long way away and the likes of WiMAX, 300Mbit+ LTE and even 4G with its 1Gb/sec target (LTE is commonly described as 4G, but is in fact 3.9G) all likely to be common by then will we even need such a network anyway?
In related news cable broadband provider Virgin Media has announced it will become the country's first phone provider to give new and existing customers free calls to mobiles from home phone lines. The inevitable catch: it's Virgin phone line subscribers to Virgin Mobile subscribers only. Yep, you were way ahead of me. The service starts 1 April (no really).