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is a broadband tax fair?
from the daily star
23rd February 2010

The Government's plans for a 50p-a-month tax on households to fund super-fast broadband across the country have been condemned by an influential group of MPs.

The Commons Business Committee branded the levy "regressive", saying it meant poor people would end up paying for a service that only the wealthier used.

It also questioned why ministers wanted to spend so much on upgrading broadband at a time when the public purse was under pressure.

The criticisms came in a report into proposals for improving the UK's internet provision, which were unveiled by ministers last July as part of the Digital Britain White Paper. Under the plans, an extra 50p charge would be imposed on every fixed phone line, with the estimated revenue of £175 million going to ensure that every home can access a minimum speed of 2Mbps (megabits per second) by 2012.

However, the MPs warned that while the Government's long-term ambitions were "laudable", it was "unwise" to meddle directly in the market at this stage.

"Early government intervention runs a significant risk of distorting the market and will not allow time for technological solutions to extend the market's reach across the country," the committee insisted.

"Furthermore there is little evidence to suggest a pent up demand for this enhanced service, with customers currently unwilling to pay the premium for such services."

The report went on: "We disagree with the Government over its proposal to fund its intervention in the Next Generation Access Market with the proceeds of a 50p levy on fixed telecommunications lines. Such a levy would be both regressive and poorly targeted. It would have a much greater impact on the less well off who will pay for an enhanced service which only a minority will enjoy. If public funds are required for next generation access, they should be raised through general taxation, in the same way as for any other national infrastructure programme."

The MPs suggested that cutting tax on fibre optic cable and improving competition among suppliers would be a better immediate use of public money.

"In times of great stringency in public expenditure digital inclusion, not next generation access, should be the priority for expenditure. The market can be helped to deliver greater levels of high speed access without significant increases in public


This is no more than a diversion to sway our eye's away from ACTA.
they could tax the people who want the service 50p


Or they could focus on more important issues other than fast broadband. jmo...


(02-24-2010, 03:22 AM)velvetfog Wrote: [ -> ]Many countries, including both Canada and USA, as well as the Scandinavian countries, subsidize the telecom availability in the outlying areas with taxes collected from city dwellers.

The reality is that it is not economical to provide telephone and Internet service to rural areas at the same monthly charge that the city dwellers pay. Most city folks live within 3 KM from a telephone exchange. In rural areas the distances are much greater, and the maintenance costs of the outside plant is much higher there.

I know for sure that Bell charges a surcharge for rule anything, Christ they still charge extra for touch tone phones for god sakes VF as if there are a high volume of dial phones in use. The entire billing process is nothing but a sham.
don't give a shit. broadband wont lay line to a house that's on it's own five miles from anywhere. no matter how much we get taxed.


(02-25-2010, 09:27 AM)billy Wrote: [ -> ]don't give a shit. broadband wont lay line to a house that's on it's own five miles from anywhere. no matter how much we get taxed.

There is always satellite. Not sure about where you are but here you can put up your own tower and supply a few people around you making it pretty cheap.