As we move closer towards a general election in the UK, the Conservative Party has pledged to deliver super-fast broadband in UK homes by 2017.

The Conservatives plans to develop a "nationwide super-fast broadband" will be part-funded by the BBC license fee.

Shadow chancellor George Osborne wants to see most UK homes having 100Mbps broadband connections by 2017, with cabling in those difficult-to-connect rural areas paid for by a combination of cash from private investors with the BBC license fee making up any shortfalls in the required funding.

Railways, motorways, broadband

Talking to the BBC's Andrew Marr Show, Osborne said: "In the 19th Century we built the railways. In the 20th Century we built the motorways. In the 21st Century let's build the super-fast broadband network that will create hundreds of thousands of jobs for Britain."

Labour has recently pledged to get everyone in the UK on a minimum 2Mbps connection by 2012, with Treasury Minister Stephen Timms saying of the Tories latest broadband plans: "On broadband it's not Britain but the Tories that are playing catch-up.

"Labour have already announced measures for rolling out broadband across the country - and the Tories have opposed the plans to make that happen."

Fantasy economics

Meanwhile,the Liberal Democrats accused the Tories of "fantasy world economics" with spokesman Don Foster adding: "Anyone can promise the earth - what matters is how you pay for it.

"All independent research shows that the market simply cannot provide high-speed broadband in all parts of the country in the short term without investment.

"Hints that the license fee payer will be hit are the closest the Tories come to explaining how they intend to pay for this."

"We look forward to engaging with politicians from every party," a spokesman said.

Via BBC