50p Broadband Tax Plan Slammed By Tories
The Government’s plan to implement a 50p broadband tax to fund the nationwide roll out of fast broadband has been slammed by the Tories.
The 50p tax to be levied on every home with a fixed telephone line was proposed by the Government in its Digital Britain report and expected to raise up to £175 million.
According to the Tories though, such an unpopular tax will result in failure to install minimum broadband speeds of 2Mbps across the UK by 2012 as ISP’s will rely on state funding rather than invest themselves.
Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Nick Herbert, the shadow Environment Secretary and Jeremy Hunt, the shadow Culture Secretary said: “The incentive for operators to invest is destroyed as everyone focuses not on consumers but how to get more state handout”.
They continued: “The tax has been earmarked to encourage investment in modern fibre optic networks – but telecom operators will have no incentive to make any investment of their own if there is the chance to tap into subsidy”.
According to the Conservatives, nearly 170,000 households in the UK are unable to access the internet, while 11% of all UK homes can only access slow broadband speeds.
Tory proposals would involve breaking up BT’s infrastructure monopoly and allowing other providers access to it, which in turn would increase competition and drive roll out to rural areas aswell.