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Labour will deliver universal superfast broadband availability by 2022, if it wins the upcoming general election.

This is according to a draft of the party's election manifesto which has been leaked.

The document states: "Few things are more crucial to businesses and our economy than a fast and reliable internet connection, but three million households and businesses have been left incapacitated by slow internet."

Labour therefore wants to ensure every household can access speeds of at least 30Mbps by 2022.

This, it said, is more ambitious than the Conservatives' commitment to offering universal access to speeds of 10Mbps.

Indeed, the draft document states that the Conservatives' objective would mean 400,000 small businesses and nearly two million homes are "left with substandard broadband well into the next decade".

The leaked manifesto also includes a commitment to offering uninterrupted 5G mobile coverage.

Labour notes that the National Infrastructure Commission last year ranked the UK 54th in the world for 4G coverage, which means the average user could get a signal "barely half the time".

The draft document says this is not only frustrating, but also holding back British business as "more and more of our economy requires a connected workforce".

Labour also wants to improve mobile internet coverage and boost provision of free public Wi-Fi on public transport on city centres if it wins next month's election.

"We will improve 4G coverage and will invest to ensure all urban areas, as well as major roads and railways, have uninterrupted 5G coverage," the leaked manifesto reads.

Labour also promises that if it wins power, it will appoint a Digital Ambassador to liaise with technology companies to promote the UK as an "attractive place for investment and provide support to start-ups to scale world class digital businesses". 

The party believes this is important as the UK "lags behind other countries in the extent to which our companies scale-up, with research suggesting that many of our companies have stagnant growth despite their best aspirations".

"Our Digital Ambassador will help to ensure businesses are ready to grow and prosper in the digital age," the leaked document adds.

The draft manifesto has not yet been signed off by the shadow cabinet and Labour's National Executive Committee.

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