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British Households Set To Pay £6 Broadband Tax

Households in Britain, which have a landline, are all set to be charged £6 a year as broadband tax by the government in order to provide the majority of British homes with a broadband connection.

Interestingly, the tax which collected from British households will help the government in bringing connections of at least 2mbps to 90 percent of the country by the end of 2017 (ed: that's what they aspire for).

The controversial broadband tax was announced by Chancellor Alistair Darling in his pre-budget report which said that the government was modernising Britain’s digital infrastructure and generating thousands of jobs in the process.

Darling, reading the report, also said that the government had provided funding for making broadband facilities in remote areas but now it wanted to take it a step further by taking broadband internet to almost 90 percent households by 2017.

However, this innovative scheme to fund the government’s vision for broadband internet has been facing severe criticism both from those who don’t want to pay and those who believe this tax is insufficient.

TalkTalk, one of Britain’s most popular broadband service providers, believes that the tax was ‘unjust’ as it will discourage private companies from investing.

BT on the other hand is of the opinion that the fund collected from the tax - £170 million - won’t be enough as it reckons that £5 billion will be required to get broadband in every house in England.

Our Comments

Like the one-off tax for bankers, the broadband tax won't generate as much revenue as one might expect. It will count as one extra tax on an already hefty check list and will leave the government needing to find other sources of revenues to make the Digital Britain project a reality within seven years.

Related Links

Broadband tax included in pre-Budget report (opens in new tab)

(BBC News)

Government holds back on 50p broadband tax (opens in new tab)

(Broadband Genie)

Government green lights broadband tax (opens in new tab)

(PC PRO)

Broadband tax for everyone with a landline (opens in new tab)

(Computer Weekly)

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.