Following the announcement by the British Government of plans to tackle illegal music, software and file sharing over the internet via the Digital Economy Bill, several major UK Internet Service Providers (ISP) have warned that in order to implement the proposed plans in the Bill, broadband users might have to pay an extra £25 on top of the subscription fee.
The extra £25 per year could end up costing the economy a massive half a billion pounds per annum, dwarfing the broadband tax proposed by the current government to invest in extending and improving broadband coverage.
According to the Digital Economy Bill, ISPs will be required to send a series of letter warnings to the users ‘suspected’ of illegally downloading copyrighted material like music, documents and videos.
If the warning letters have no affect on the offending users, the ISP’s can slow down or restrict their internet access.
The bill will also allow ISPs to provide personal details of offending users to Rights owners of the copyrighted material for a possible legal action which will involve provision for huge financial penalties for offenders.
As a last resort, the ISPs will be given the authority to discontinue the internet services to the offending users.
However, if the plans in the Bill are approved by the parliament, experts estimate that over 40,000 British households are at a risk of getting barred from using the internet and that the letter warnings alone have the potential to increase individual subscription fee by £1.40.