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Levies to fund ultra-fast broadband in UK are 'unfair', say MPs

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 22 Feb 2010 21:48 User comments (6)

Levies to fund ultra-fast broadband in UK are 'unfair', say MPs A UK government proposal to charge citizens with fixed phone lines a levy of 50p per month in order to fund broadband plans in the Digital Economy Bill has been condemned as "unfair" by members of parliament. The Business Innovation and Skills Committee said that most affected by the new levy would not benefit from the ultra-fast broadband services the government is pushing.
The government says that upgrading its broadband networks is the best way to drive further investment, maintaining that such measures are vial to the UK's economic growth. "We believe that a 50p levy placed on fixed telecommunication lines is an ill-directed charge," the committee asserts. "It will place a disproportionate cost on a majority who will not, or are unable to, reap the benefits of that charge."

Also included in the broadband plans is a goal to provide a minimum of 2Mbps Internet anywhere in Britain by 2012. The committee does agree with this part of the goal in principal, although it criticizes the government for not being more specific. Broadband speeds vary for customers throughout the day, and can also vary based on the distance between a home and an exchange.

The committee would like the government to guarantee a minimum of 2Mbps to all users, at all times and under normal circumstances. As for the Next Generation Access plans (ultra-fast broadband plans), the committee feels that demand for such services is not high enough to justify the public investment, and believes the free market can be trusted to provide it.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said that it wants everybody to "access the huge social, economic and health benefits" that high speeds offer. "The 50p duty we have proposed is modest, fair and affordable and is the best way to drive further investment in our networks," said a spokesman.

"Our analysis shows that without intervention, the market will only reach up to 70% of the country, so it's vital we act now to ensure no area is left behind." The Department believes the 50p duty will facilitate a 1 billion upgrade to the UK's digital networks, and will particularly benefit users located in rural areas.

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6 user comments

123.2.2010 2:58

Please Mods Kill this clown's account!!!

223.2.2010 3:09

Why don't they use the money that they've already stolen from us in the form of "environment" taxes?

p.s. bye trucy

323.2.2010 3:22

yes plez trucy is jus a dam advertizer

423.2.2010 5:49

Originally posted by beanos66:
Why don't they use the money that they've already stolen from us in the form of "environment" taxes?

p.s. bye trucy
Could not agree more!! C02 my backside.Dont forget we part own banks as well!!.
Britain the third world.2MB by 2012? we really are light years behind.

523.2.2010 23:05

I don't live in the U.K. but funding private enterprise with a mandatory tax? Funny thing about taxes is that once there in place, they seem to steadily rise year upon year.
Its amazing there is never any "fat" to cut out of a budget, or a way to make something more efficient. The only solution to governments and politicians is more new taxes, and raising existing taxes.
Yet another "little" tax that reeks of corruption.

625.2.2010 9:23

Why should the public pay a tax for telephone companys to update there equiptment?

BT here in the UK are the main company and many like me have to use them via a phone line to get the internet, it costs me a fortune a month for very little off them, then to pay a ISP makes it expensive enough.

"In the three months ended 31 December 2009 the telco made 113m in profit!!!!!!" upgrade your own system! why not charge us all an extra 50p a month so SKY can launch a new satelite ****** crazy, We pay to make someone elses company rich because the Gov want us to, just who is bribing these people to force this through, I wonder :(

Roll on worldwide wifi (it will come) so I can take this line out and just use my mobile for calls!

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 25 Feb 2010 @ 9:25

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