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The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alistair Darling, announced on 9th December 2009 during his Pre-Budget Report that he will be levying a broadband tax of £6 on each household with a fixed line.
The money raised from this tax will be spent on improving rural access speeds so that they become comparable with those in more urban areas.
Darling said: “We have provided funding to help extend the opportunities of the broadband network to more remote communities. We now want to go further, so we can provide the next generation of super-fast broadband to 90 per cent of the population by the end of 2017.”
The tax should raise around £170 million, but this falls far short of BT estimate of £5 billion needed to provide superfast broadband to every household in the United Kingdom. At least it is a start…
The tax itself seems a sensible way to ensure that rural communities do not get left behind, provided the funds raised actually get spent on this objective.