Category Archives: Digital Britain

£6 Broadband Tax Postponed Until after General Election

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Filed under Broadband News, Broadband Regulations, Digital Britain

Stephen Timms - Digital BritainStephen Timms , Treasury Minister, has hinted that plans to impose a 50p per month stealth tax on fixed phone lines to fund the next generation broadband may be postponed until after the general election.

A Government spokesperson confirmed that the UK Goverment remains commited to introducing the 50p tax in 2010 as set out in the Digital Britain report but no final decisions have yet been made.

According to the Sunday Times, Timms, who recently replaced Lord Carter- author of the Digital Britain Report- told journalists that a short bill listing more popular measures would probably be pushed through prior to the election. Leaving more unpopular measures until later.

The Tories are expected to oppose the £6 tax so if they win the General Elections the scheme will be ditched.

UK Broadband Tax of £6 Per Year

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Filed under Broadband Regulations, Digital Britain

Digital BritainThe Government is planning to impose 50 pence per month broadband tax on every household with a fixed line telephone to fund broadband installation to rural properties.

Some experts believe that Gordon Browns idea of broadband for all is just not achievable while others think that the tax will help to provide fast networks to most homes within a decade.

BT plans to upgrade 40% of UK homes to FTTC by 2012 (Fibre to the cabinet Technology) but this will not include difficult to reach rural areas.

Virgin Media plans to upgrade to speeds of 50Mbps. Virgin supplies broadband to 50% of urban and suburban homes.

It is estimated that the Government will raise about £170 million per year with the £6 per year tax although it is expected that some people will give up their lines to avoid the tax. Some experts think the tax may not be enough because it will be expensive to provide broadband to homes miles away from existing networks.

Gordon Brown has said that broadband is as essential as water, electricity and gas and the Government has earmarked £200 million to roll out broadband at speeds of 2Mbps to approx 2.5m homes who currently do not have access.

He believes that the Digital Britain report could make the UK the broadband world leader. However the final decisions will not be made for some time and we may have a new Government by then.