by Carrie-Ann Skinner

Government sticks by broadband tax plan

Sep 23, 2009
GovernmentIT StrategyNetworking Devices

The proposed £6 broadband tax that will fund the installation of a next-generation fibre network in the UK, will go ahead before the next election, says the government.

The tax, which was unveiled as part of the government’s Digital Britain proposals earlier this year, is designed to bring 2Mbps broadband to every single UK residents, but it has been met with much opposition from consumers and ISPs.

Treasury Minister Stephen Timms said it was his aim to legislate for 50p per month charge on copper telephone lines “this side of a general election” during a British Computer Society debate.

Timms also revealed the tax would raise £150m to £175m a year.

Michael Phillips, product director at comparison website said : “Our concern is that the upgrading of the UK’s broadband infrastructure is a mammoth undertaking and this unpopular tax will barely make a dent in the likely total cost”.

“Research we carried out earlier this year indicated that half of consumers felt that line rental costs weren’t good value for money. This is just another body blow to customers that have already seen the majority of telecoms suppliers significantly raise line rental charges this year.”