Broadband tax is scrapped at the last minute

7 Apr 2010

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The Government's proposed broadband tax has been scrapped at the last minute in the rush to get key legislation through Parliament before the general election on May 6th.

The 50p-a-month tax would have been applied to all households with a landline telephone. It's estimated it would have raised £170m a year to fund broadband roll-out across the UK.

It was a key part of Labour's strategy to ensure all parts of the country get super-fast broadband.

The Conservatives have always opposed the tax, preferring to allow the market more time to implement broadband services before Government intervention. They vowed to scrap it if they won the election.

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Wasn't the phone network once owned by the public? The government then 'privatised' it - to open up the markets to competition and offer cheaper rates blah blah blah...

Why are the public being asked to assist a privately owned business (OpenReach or whatever BT calls it's line management arm these days) for the benefit of that business? Openreach will then rent out the lines for money from other ISP's or from end users to access the broadband network.

What's my line rental money doing? Shouldn't BT be re-investing that money in the exchanges/condition of older lines so that more people can access high speed broadband?

Politicians looking to make policies that they think will please the voters...



I'm in favour of fast broadband everywhere but it would have been a waste of money to have the government involved.  How much of that �170mm/year would actually get used for its purpose?  Not nearly enough.

Better to have the government drop restrictions and legal barriers - then let the market look after itself.