BT Says 50p Monthly Broadband Tax Not enough

BT has notified that a proposed monthly levy of 50p on phone landlines will not be sufficient to rollout fibre optic broadband across the entire UK.

Addressing a meeting organised to discuss the next phase of fibre-optic rollout, Olivia Garfield, strategy and portfolio group director for BT, asserted that the tax, proposed in the Digital Britain Report published last month, would perhaps not be enough to deliver fibre optic network throughout the country.

Incidentally, the proposed levy of 50p-per-month on phone landlines is expected to generate as much as £1.5 billion to help deliver fibre broadband connection to the “final third” of the UK.

Asserting on the insufficiency of landlines levy in meeting the target, Garfield said, “I can see a way to get to 80 to 85 per cent with that kind of money, but we will struggle to get to 100 per cent – in fact it would be impossible to get to 100 per cent”.

Furthermore, responding to a query relating to service level agreements (SLAs), David Campbell, Openreach MD for next-generation access, said that the company guarantees 15Mbit/s, and would take essential steps if the service delivered falls below the aforesaid levels.

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Our Comments

When it was first announced back two weeks ago, we expressed our skepticism saying that the sum to be collected when it is introduced in 2013 - around £150 million per annum is a rather measly sum.

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